- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is an operating unit of the
United States Department of Agriculture(USDA).
APHIS' mission (2003): To protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources.
APHIS aims to protect American animals, plants, and the agricultural industry by offering:
* Protection from invasive non-native plants, animals, insects, and diseases
* Monitoring and management of existing agricultural pests and diseases
* Resolution and management of trade issues related to animal or plant health
* Prevention or cessation of the inhumane treatment (of animals)
The threats and challenges within APHIS' scope include:
* Non-compliant biotech events
* Invasive species
* Agricultural animal/plant health threats
* Agricultural bioterrorism
* SPS trade barriers
* Wildlife conflicts and diseases
APHIS aims to protect ecosystems, natural resources, agriculture, agribusiness, agricultural exports, consumer health and safety, and animal welfare from the above threats.(APHIS website, 2003)
New challenges for APHIS include bioterrorism (
Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Act (2002)), BSE and Avian Influenza(AI). APHIS is responsible for the administration of the USDA's controversial National Animal Identification Systemand the Wildlife ServicesProgram.
APHIS has a budget of approximately $800 million annually and employs about 7,000 people, about 5,000 of which are deployed as inspectors at ports, borders and on farms. The former APHIS administrator is
Ron DeHaven. He was appointed by Ann Venemanin April 2004. The current APHIS administrator, Cindy Smith was appointed in September 2007. She is notable for being the first female administrator of The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service agency.( [http://www.aphis.usda.gov/about_aphis/leadership_bios.shtml] )
In 2003, many APHIS agricultural inspectors were transferred to the
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a unit of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
APHIS is the primary agency responsible for responding to animal and plant disease(s)and pest emergencies but also raises the expectation that we will help in responding to other emergencies as set forth by the National Response Plan (NRP) completed in 2005 (APHIS Strategic Plan 2003-2008).
* [http://www.aphis.usda.gov/about_aphis/ APHIS website]
* [http://thefederalregister.com/b.p/agency/Animal_and_Plant_Health_Inspection_Service/ Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service Meeting Notices and Rule Changes] from The Federal Register [http://thefederalregister.com/rss/agency/Animal_and_Plant_Health_Inspection_Service/ RSS Feed]
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