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Emerging Issues

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Provides resources and alerts on newly discovered invasive species and emerging issues.

See also: Alert and Advisory Resources for Web sites that provide alerts or advisories

Spotlights

Invasive zebra mussels have been found in "moss balls” an aquarium plant product sold at aquarium and pet supply stores.  Zebra mussels are regarded as one of the most destructive invasive species in North America. Learn more about the situation, rapid response efforts by federal and state agencies, and how to properly destroy the moss balls to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking feedback on its proposed list of pests and diseases of concern that are likely to pose a high risk to U.S. agricultural and natural resources. APHIS will seek comments on a rolling basis, and there is no deadline for submission.

Section 12203 of the 2018 Farm Bill requires pest- and disease-planning activities that mirror the extensive planning efforts APHIS already performs. Specifically, it requires APHIS to develop a uniform list of pests and diseases that represent the gravest threat to the United States and to develop comprehensive response plans to ensure Federal and State governments are prepared to respond to them.

See Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern for more information. The agency will review comments from the public about the list, including suggestions of pests or diseases that should be added or removed. In providing comments, individuals should keep in mind that the Farm Bill definition of a pest or disease of concern limits this list to those that are “likely to pose a significant risk to the food and agricultural critical infrastructure sector” and is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all possible pests or diseases. Comments may be submitted to APHISPestDiseaseList@usda.gov.

USDA. APHIS. Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS). National Agricultural Pest Information System (NAPIS).
Provides State pest detection contacts, recent state exotic pest news, links to state pest resources, and a list of state CAPS survey targets.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this subject, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Emerging Issues

Partnership

USDA. APHIS. Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS).

The National CAPS Committee will revise the National Pest Surveillance Guidelines when annually reviewing the policy, strategy, and performance of the CAPS program. The NCC also will approve annually a “Priority Pest List.” This list will include the Commodity and Taxonomic Survey Pests, as well as Pests of Economic and Environmental Importance (OPEP Prioritized List). The Priority Pest List will be based on input by PPQ, the States, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST), National Identification Services (NIS), and commodity organizations.

Federal Government

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Utah County, Utah. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease in Utah. This case is believed to be connected to the current outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in California, as three of the birds at the premises were recently moved to Utah from Los Angeles County, California. Since May 2018, 299 cases of Newcastle disease have been confirmed in Southern California, primarily in backyard exhibition birds.

Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern. No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a commercial chicken flock in Riverside County, California. This finding is part of an outbreak in southern California that began in May 2018 in backyard exhibition birds. This is the first case in commercial poultry since 2003.

Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern.  No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.
State and Local Government

Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Wildlife Resources Division.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division confirmed someone found a northern snakehead in early October in a pond on private property in Gwinnett County, marking the first time the invasive fish has been found in the state. Fishermen who find a northern snakehead should take pictures, note where it was caught and then report it.

Maryland Department of Agriculture.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has confirmed that a single adult spotted lanternfly has been found on a trap in the northeast corner of Cecil County near the border of Pennsylvania and Delaware. This is the first confirmed sighting of the invasive species in Maryland, and the department does not believe there is an established population of the pest in the state. If you suspect you have found a spotted lantern fly egg mass, nymph, or adult, snap a picture of it, collect it, put it in a plastic bag, freeze it, and report it to the Maryland Department of Agriculture at DontBug.MD@maryland.gov.