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USDA ISSUES FEDERAL ORDER TO HALT SPREAD OF LIGHT BROWN APPLE MOTH

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Claude Knighten (301) 734-5271
Larry Hawkins (916) 930-5509

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2007-The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today implemented a Federal Order to restrict the interstate movement of certain regulated articles, including nursery stock, cut flowers and greenery, from several counties in California and the entire state of Hawaii to prevent the spread of the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana.

Under the Federal Order, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and San Mateo counties in California and all Hawaiian counties must meet certain conditions before shipping articles interstate.

APHIS confirmed the presence of LBAM in Alameda County, Calif. on March 22. Surveillance and trapping have since identified the pest in seven additional California counties.

Under the Federal Order, all California shipments of host articles originating within 1.5 miles of a LBAM detection must be visually inspected and certified as free of the pest prior to movement. Outside of the 1.5 mile area, but still within the quarantined counties, host-article production facilities must undergo a one-time visual inspection and be certified as free of LBAM before moving their products outside of the quarantine area. This Federal Order expands upon initial regulatory action taken by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on March 28.

APHIS included Hawaii in the Federal Order because LBAM is known to be established in the state but no data exists on the exact distribution of the pest. All individual shipments of host commodities leaving Hawaii must be visually inspected and certified as free of LBAM before leaving the state.

The order also requires survey trapping, nursery treatment applications, and precautionary production practices be implemented within quarantine areas to mitigate the risk of LBAM infestation. APHIS and CDFA continue to work together to conduct trapping and surveillance activities.

LBAM is native to Australia and is also found in New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The host range for LBAM is broad with more than 250 plant species known to be susceptible to attack by this pest. Major domestic hosts of concern are stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots), apples, pears, grapes, cherries and citrus.

The pest destroys, stunts or deforms young seedlings; spoils the appearance of ornamental plants; and injures deciduous fruit-tree crops, citrus and grapes.

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