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Dominican Republic Coming on Board with “Don’t Pack a Pest” Partnership

March 14, 2013

The Dominican Republic will join the nation of Jamaica as an international partner in the “Don’t Pack a Pest” Traveler’s Program. Meeting this week with representatives of the U.S. and Florida agencies that administer the program, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Agriculture committed to the partnership, which is focused on increasing the traveling public’s awareness of the dangers posed by invasive pests and diseases to the food supply.

DomRepGroupMar13

Travelers” Don’t Pack a Pest” team meets with Dominican Republic minister of agriculture and other officials on March 11, 2013. (Photo: Ellen Dyck)

The program, which encourages travelers to declare all agricultural items in their luggage, 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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