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Cooperators Discuss “Don’t Pack a Pest” Traveler’s Program with Officials in Dominican Republic

March 12, 2013

Linus suitcase

Linus, the agriculture detector dog, is the face of the “Don’t Pack a Pest” campaign.

DomRepSm

Officials from FDACS/DPI and other cooperators in the “Don’t Pack a Pest” Traveler’s Program meet with their counterparts at the Domincan Republic Ministry of Agriculture.

Representatives of cooperating U.S. agencies traveled to the Domnican Republic this week to discuss the “Don’t Pack a Pest” Traveler’s Program with officials at the Ministry of Agriculture. The program’s goal is to increase the traveling public’s awareness of the dangers to the food supply posed by the importation of invasive pests and diseases. It encourages travelers to declare all agricultural items in their luggage. The program is a joint effort of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The “Don’t Pack a Pest” message is delivered via signage at international airports, billboards along Florida highways and videos playing at airports and aboard American Airlines flights.

One of the program’s goals is to expand to airports outside of the U.S. Last year the program was adopted at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and Sangster international Airport at Montego Bay, Jamaica. Educating the traveling public about protecting our food supply and natural resources from harmful pests and diseases is important and the program continues to seek partners to help drive home the simple but powerful message: “Don’t Pack a Pest.”

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