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David Sparks Ph.d Invasive pests
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: February 20, 2018

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Global travelers are being cautioned against bringing back invasive pests and diseases to America:

Invasive species are unwelcome hitchhikers. The message to international travelers is simple– be aware of where you are traveling and what you might be bringing back home. Pests and diseases from other parts of the globe can threaten every state’s agriculture and natural resources: “Don’t pack a pest. We mean that literally. Don’t bring stuff that could contain a pest that is dangerous for Oregon or the US.”

Helmuth Rogg is Director of Plant Protection and Conservation programs for the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He says bad bugs can hop a ride back to the state in your suitcase or clothing. You can easily pick up noxious weed seeds on your shoes and socks. Inspecting and cleaning everything before heading back home is imperative. On the animal health side, Veterinarian Dr. Brad LeaMaster is focused on keeping pathogens out of the country:

“Foreign animal diseases and high-risk diseases are out there and it’s a constant risk that’s always there. The threat never goes away. As soon as we lower our guard or get sloppy, that’s the opportunity or the chance for the disease to get there.”

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