Nolan Lemon (919) 855-7008
Angela Harless (202) 720-4623
WASHINGTON, July 3, 2008--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a federal order that adds portions of Louisiana to the list of states and territories quarantined due to the presence of citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing (HLB) and Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), an insect that serves as a vector for the disease's spread.
This action, which revises the Jan. 11 federal order, is necessary to prevent the spread of HLB and ACP. The federal order became effective on June 24.
On May 29, APHIS confirmed the detection of ACP in a residential lime tree in Orleans Parish. APHIS confirmed the tree was positive for HLB on June 12, and the tree was removed and incinerated by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF). APHIS and LDAF are working cooperatively to determine the extent of the infestation by inspecting host plants on residential properties, commercial groves and nurseries.
Under the federal order, Orleans Parish is quarantined for both HLB and ACP, while Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes are quarantined only for ACP. Due to the parallel quarantine established by Louisiana on June 30, only those parishes with HLB or ACP will be quarantined and placed under regulatory controls. The federal order also maintains a statewide quarantine for HLB in Florida. In addition, the order maintains a statewide quarantine for the ACP in Florida as well as in Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and 32 counties in Texas.
Nursery stock from areas quarantined for HLB only can be moved interstate for immediate export accompanied by a limited permit. In order for ACP-host material to be shipped from ACP-quarantined areas, it must be treated, inspected and accompanied by a limited permit that prevents distribution to any citrus-producing states or territories where the ACP is not present. The interstate movement of citrus fruit is not restricted by the federal order.
HLB is one of the most devastating diseases of citrus worldwide. While it does not pose a human health risk, it greatly reduces fruit production and will cause economic losses. Once infected, there is no known cure for a tree with HLB.
The federal order can be found on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/
Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive APHIS press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to email@example.com and leave the subject blank. In the message, type subscribe press_releases.