The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) based in Riverdale, Maryland responsible for protecting animal health, animal welfare, and plant health. APHIS is the lead agency for collaboration with other agencies to protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and diseases. APHIS is the National Plant Protection Authority for the U.S. government, and the agency's head of veterinary services is Chief Veterinary Officer of the United States.
APHIS was created in 1972 by Secretary's Memorandum No. 1769.
The origins of the agency predate creation of USDA, to 1854 when the Office of Entomologist, Agricultural Section, U.S. Patent Office was created. It was the first of three agencies that eventually were merged to form APHIS. In 1881, a Cattle Commission was created in the Department of the Treasury that three years later was transferred to USDA. Plant quarantine functions followed in 1912 when USDA's Federal Horticultural Board was created. Between the 1880s and 1930s these evolved into the USDA Bureaus of Entomology, of Animal Industry, and of Plant Quarantine, respectively.
In 1953 the three bureaus were combined into the Agricultural Research Service. In 1971, the animal and plant regulatory functions were separated from ARS to create a new entity known as Animal and Plant Health Services. In 1972, the meat and poultry inspection divisions of the Consumer and Marketing Service (later known as the Agricultural Marketing Service) were added to APHS, thus creating the contemporary APHIS.
APHIS is the primary agency responsible for responding to animal and plant disease(s) and pest emergencies as well as to other emergencies as set forth by the National Response Plan (NRP) completed in 2005 (APHIS Strategic Plan 2003-2008).
The originally-stated purpose of APHIS is to “protect the animal and plant resources of the nation” and carry out “a poultry and meat inspection program.” A more modern articulation of APHIS's mission is “protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities.”
APHIS aims to protect American animals, plants, and the agricultural industry by offering:
The threats and challenges within APHIS' scope include:
APHIS is granted specific authority under several federal statutes:
Animal Health Protection Act, 7 U.S.C. § 8301 et seq. Governs the prevention, detection, control, and eradication of diseases and pests of animals, where "animal" is defined as "any member of the animal kingdom (except a human)." 7 U.S.C. § 8302 (1) (West 2009).
Animal Welfare Act (Laboratory Animal Welfare Act of 1966), 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq. Originally intended to prevent the theft of pets for sale to research facilities, the AWA now broadly regulates minimum standards of care and treatment of animals in research, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. It exempts birds, rats, or mice bred for use in research, horses not used for research, cold blooded animals, and all farm animals used in the production of “food and fiber.” It provides for licensing and registration of all animal dealers and exhibitors.
Horse Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1821–1831 Prohibits horses subjected to a process called “soring” (injecting or applying chemicals to a horse's forelegs to accentuate its gait) from participating in and being transported to exhibitions, sales, shows, or auctions.
Animal Damage Control Act of March 2, 1931, 7 U.S.C. §§ 426–426c Provides broad authority for investigation, demonstrations and control of “injurious animal species” (mammalian predators, rodents and birds.) Amended in 1991 to prevent the inadvertent introduction of brown tree snakes into other areas of the United States from Guam.
Lacey Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 3371–3378 Makes it unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law whether in interstate or foreign commerce.
Plant Protection Act, 7 U.S.C. § 7701 et seq. Consolidates all or part of ten existing USDA plant health laws into one comprehensive law. Gives USDA the authority to regulate and to prohibit or restrict the importation, exportation, and the interstate movement of plants, plant products, certain biological control organisms, noxious weeds, and plant pests.
Federal Seed Act, Title III, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1551–1611 Requires accurate labeling and purity standards for seeds in commerce, and prohibits the importation and movement of adulterated or misbranded seeds.
Honeybee Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 281–286 Prohibits or restricts the importation or entry of honeybees and honeybee semen into or through the United States in order to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases and parasites harmful to honeybees, as well as genetically undesirable germ plasm and undesirable bee species.
Animal quarantine laws: 21 U.S.C. § 101 allows the President, by proclamation, to suspend the importation of all or any class of animals for a limited time, whenever, in his opinion, it is necessary for the protection of animals in the United States against infectious or contagious diseases.
21 U.S.C. § 113a authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to establish research facilities for hoof and mouth disease and other animal diseases which “in the opinion of the Secretary” constitute a threat to U.S. livestock. Mandates strict controls for the use of any live virus at such research facilities. Permits the Secretary to hire up to five technical experts or scientists at a maximum paygrade of GS-18. (This appears to be one of the most prescriptive statutes that USDA administers.)
APHIS is divided into six operational programs units:
APHIS is also divided into three management support units (Legislative and Public Affairs, Marketing and Regulatory Programs Business Services, and Policy and Program Development), and two offices that support government-wide initiatives: the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and Office of Civil Rights Enforcement and Compliance.
The current APHIS Administrator, Mr. Kevin Shea, was appointed in June 2013. His immediate predecessor, Dr. Greg Parham, was appointed in April 2011.
The Deputy Administrator for Veterinary Services also functions as Chief Veterinary Officer of the United States, and represents the U.S. Government at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) is the National Plant Protection Authority; the Deputy Administrator for PPQ represents the United States in the North American Plant Protection Organization and other international fora related to plant health and quarantine.
In addition to its domestic operations, APHIS International Services staff several overseas offices, including veterinary and plant health attachés in U.S. diplomatic missions as well as technicians carrying out disease and pest eradication and control programs.
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.
In 2014, The USDA's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) criticized the Service for a number of issues including its failure to efficiently allocate resources and its failure to administer appropriate fines for animal welfare violations among other issues. The report found the Service conducted inspections at facilities that did not have any animals regulated under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). According to the report, “[Animal Care] did not make the best use of its limited resources, which could have been assigned to inspect other more problematic facilities, including breeders, dealers, and exhibitors.” The Service was also criticized for prematurely closing cases that involved “grave (e.g., animal deaths) or repeat welfare violations.” When the service did levy fines against institutions for AWA violations, the Inspector General's report found “penalties that were reduced by an average of 86 percent from… authorized maximum penalty per violation. Consequently, 26 of the 30 violators in our sample received” and that the Service “grant[ed] good faith reductions without merit or us[ed] a smaller number of violations than the actual number.” According to the USDA's report, APHIS agreed with the findings and will begin implanting reforms.
In 2005, the USDA OIG published a report which identified numerous failures on the part of APHIS’ Animal Care (AC) unit to adequately enforce the AWA, including:
The OIG audit further reported that at almost one-third of facilities, IACUCs failed to ensure that principal investigators (PIs) considered alternatives to painful procedures; the report cites this failure on the part of IACUCs as being the most frequent AWA violation at animal research facilities.
On 4 February 2017, the USDA Animal Care Search Tool, a searchable database containing documents with details about the animals held by individual US animal research facility together with inspection and action reports, was removed from public access, with a stated reason of protecting personal information. The removal affects inspection reports, research facility annual reports, regulatory correspondence (such as official warnings), and certain enforcement records. Information from these documents can now only be requested via a Freedom of Information Act inquiry. This removal has been criticized as substantially limiting information on animal care in US institutions, and of inhibiting access to what is still available.
Media related to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at Wikimedia CommonsAphis (disambiguation)
Aphis may refer to:
Aphis, a genus of aphid species
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), organizational unit of the USDA
HMS Aphis (1915), Royal Navy insect class gunboatBobby R. Acord
Bobby R. Acord was the Administrator of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). He was appointed by Ann Veneman on November 7, 2001, and was no longer administrator as of 2004.
Prior to his appointment, he had served for over a decade in the upper echelons of APHIS as:
APHIS' Acting Administrator since September 2001
Associate Administrator since 1999
Deputy Administrator for APHIS' Wildlife Services program for nearly a decade priorAcord has received two Presidential Rank Awards for his contributions to the USDA. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from West Virginia University in Morgantown.Chimera (virus)
A chimera virus is defined by the Center for Veterinary Biologics (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) as a "new hybrid microorganism created by joining nucleic acid fragments from two or more different microorganisms in which each of at least two of the fragments contain essential genes necessary for replication." The term chimera already referred to an individual organism whose body contained cell populations from different zygotes or an organism that developed from portions of different embryos. In mythology, a chimera is a creature such as a hippogriff or a gryphon formed from parts of different animals, thus the name for these viruses. Chimeric flaviviruses have been created in an attempt to make novel live attenuated vaccines.Federal Plant Pest Act of 1957
The Federal Plant Pest Act of 1957 (P.L. 85-36) prohibited the movement of pests from a foreign country into or through the United States unless authorized by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
It was superseded by the Plant Protection Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-224, Title IV). Under the new law, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) retains broad authority to inspect, seize, quarantine, treat, destroy or dispose of imported plant and animal materials that are potentially harmful to U.S. agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and, to a certain degree, natural resources. (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.).Federal Seed Act
The Federal Seed Act, P.L. 76-354 (August 9, 1939), requires accurate labeling and purity standards for seeds in commerce, and prohibits the importation and movement of adulterated or misbranded seeds. The law works in conjunction with the Plant Protection Act of 2000 to authorize the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to regulate the importation of field crop, pasture and forage, or vegetable seed that may contain noxious weed seeds. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is responsible for enforcing the labeling and purity standard provisions.Interagency Border Inspection System
The Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) is a United States computer-based system that provides the law enforcement community with files of common interest. IBIS provides access to the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and allows its users to interface with all 50 U.S. states via the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS). IBIS physically resides on the Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS) at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Data Center.
Regulatory and law enforcement personnel from more than 20 federal agencies or bureaus use IBIS, including:
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
United States Coast Guard
United States Department of State (for use by Consular Officers at United States embassies and consulates)
United States Secret Service (USSS)Field access is provided by a network with more than 24,000 IBIS terminals, located at ports of entry including border checkpoints, seaports, and airports to track information on suspect individuals, businesses, vehicles, aircraft, and watercraft. IBIS terminals can also be used to access records on wanted persons, stolen vehicles, vessels or firearms, license information, criminal histories, and previous federal inspections, allowing the border enforcement agencies to focus their limited resources on those potential non-compliant travelers.John R. Clifford
Dr. John R. Clifford is an American veterinarian. Since 1985 he has been with APHIS, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, where he held various positions including USDA Chief Veterinary Officer. Clifford received DVM and BS degrees in animal science from the University of Missouri and before joining APHIS he was a private veterinarian.Macron's oak
Macron's oak is the sessile oak tree that was given by the French president Emmanuel Macron to the United States in 2018.The oak was originally sprouted at the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood grounds in northern France. The sapling was gifted from Emmanuel Macron in course of his state visit to U.S. President Donald Trump in April 2018. The tree was ceremonially planted by both presidents on the White House lawn, and then put to mandatory quarantine.According to Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at least two years of monitoring and testing may be required before the tree and the backup tree can be planted.National Animal Health Reporting System
The National Animal Health Reporting System (NAHRS) is a joint effort of the U.S. Animal Health Association (USAHA), American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). NAHRS was designed to provide data from chief state animal health officials on the presence of confirmed Office International des Epizooties (OIE) LIST A and B clinical diseases in specific commercial livestock, poultry, and aquaculture species in the United States. It is intended to be one part of a comprehensive and integrated animal-health surveillance system.National Farm Animal Identification and Records
National Farm Animal Identification and Records (FAIR) is a pilot animal identification program established in 1999 by Holstein Association USA, Inc. of Brattleboro, Vermont; it has received funding through USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
National FAIR is a national animal identification and traceability system. The database is USDA-certified as an official Animal Tracking Database (ATD). National FAIR is also a distributor of official 840 RFID eartags. Millions of animals and thousands of farms across the United States are enrolled because of its simple, cost effective, fast and accurate animal traceability capabilities.National Veterinary Services Laboratory
The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) provides laboratory services for the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It operates from Ames, Iowa and Plum Island Animal Disease Center at Plum Island (New York). The NVSL provides a wide variety of information and services, centered on diagnosis of domestic and foreign animal diseases, support of disease control and eradication programs, reagents for diagnostic testing, training, and laboratory certification.Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking System
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) are responsible for safeguarding agriculture and natural resources from the risks associated with the entry, establishment, or spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds.
The Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance and Tracking (PCIT) system tracks the inspection of agricultural products and certifies compliance with plant health standards of importing countries. This capability provides APHIS/PPQ better security, reporting functions, and monitoring capabilities for exported commodities.
The PCIT also provides a link to the PExD. PExD is a repository of phytosanitary import requirements of U.S. origin commodities to foreign countries. PExD enhances Plant Protection and Quarantine’s
(PPQ’s) ability to maintain the export program for United States exporters. PExD will support PPQ’s Phytosanitary Issues Management (PIM) Export Services (ES) with the task of entering export summaries
for foreign countries. PExD provides reusable text to facilitate uniform entry of export summaries. PExD also provides PPQ staff, State and County cooperators, and exporters’ easy access to export summaries
via direct user queries. PExD interfaces with the Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System (PCIT) application processing.
During application processing, users are provided with pertinent export summaries based on the consignee country, applicable commodities, and other data contained in an application.
Phytosanitary Certificate - Certificate patterned after the model certificates of the IPPC [FAO, 1990]. In the U.S., this is an official document (PPQ Form 577) that attests to the phytosanitary condition
of commodities and is issued by an Authorized Certification Official.Phytosanitary certification
Phytosanitary certification is used to attest that consignments meet phytosanitary (regarding plants) import requirements and is undertaken by an NPPO (National Plant Protection Organization). A phytosanitary certificate for export or for re-export can be issued only by a public officer who is technically qualified and duly authorized by an NPPO (ISPM 12).
A phytosanitary certificate for export is usually issued by the NPPO of the country where the plants, plant products or regulated articles were grown or processed (1). Phytosanitary certificates are issued to indicate that consignments of plants, plant products or other regulated articles meet specified phytosanitary import requirements and are in conformity with the certifying statement of the appropriate model certificate. Phytosanitary certificates should only be issued for this purpose.Test and hold
In the United States meat industry, Test and hold is a requirement that federal meat inspectors not apply the "inspected and passed" mark on the carcasses of cattle that have been sampled by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for its BSE surveillance program until the sample is determined to be negative (69 FR 1892, January 12, 2004). Formerly, unless prohibited by a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) veterinary medical officer, carcasses of BSE sampled animals were allowed to be stamped inspected and passed, and packing plants were allowed to process them for human food before the sample results were received.Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
The Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs is a high-ranking position within the United States Department of Agriculture that supervises policy development and day-to-day operations of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Agricultural Marketing Service, and the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration. The three agencies were appropriated over $800 million by Congress in fiscal year 2004.The Agricultural Marketing Service administers programs that attempt to facilitate the fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service attempts to safeguard America's resources from exotic invasive pests and diseases and monitor and manage agricultural pests and diseases existing in the United States. It also resolves and manages trade issues related to animal or plant health, and ensures the humane care and treatment of animals. The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration attempts to facilitate the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds, and related agricultural products, and promote fair and competitive trading practices.The current Under Secretary is Gregory Ibach, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 26, 2017. Previous incumbent Bruce I. Knight was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 6, 2006. Former Under Secretaries include Bill Hawks, who served from April 2001 until June 2005, Islam "Isa" A. Siddiqui, whose recess appointment was announced by President Bill Clinton on December 29, 2000, and Michael V. Dunn, who served from November 1998 until April 2000.The position was created by the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1999, which was signed on October 21, 1998 by President Clinton. Prior to this act, there had been an Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, which was abolished. The Under Secretary is appointed by the President with the confirmation of the Senate.Uniform methods and rules
The Uniform methods and rules are documents by the Veterinary Services office of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that specify the minimum standards for preventing, detecting, controlling, and/or eradicating a particular animal disease. APHIS in late 2004 had UM&Rs posted on bovine tuberculosis eradication, brucellosis, brucellosis in cervidae, equine infectious anemia, pseudorabies eradication, swine brucellosis control/eradication, and voluntary scrapie flock certification program
standards. UM&Rs usually are developed with input from state animal health authorities, industry, and the U.S. Animal Health Association. Although not legally binding, as are laws and regulations, UM&Rs are widely recognized within the industry and profession as the “gold standard” for addressing an animal disease of national concern; they may be incorporated by states into their own animal health codes.Veterinary biologic
Veterinary biologics are vaccines, antigens, antitoxins and other preparations made from living organisms (or genetically engineered) and intended for use in diagnosing, treating, or immunizing animals. Unlike some pharmaceutical products, such as antibiotics, most biologics leave no residues in animals. Veterinary biologics are regulated by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which licenses the facilities that produce them and conducts a program to ensure that animal vaccines and other veterinary biologics are safe, pure, potent, and effective.Virus-Serum-Toxin Act
The Virus-Serum-Toxin Act or VSTA (P.L. 430 of 1913, as amended; 21 U.S.C. 151-158) was United States Federal legislation designed to protect farmers and livestock raisers by regulating the quality of vaccines and point-of-care diagnostics for animals. Initially, the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act was created due to significant losses from unregulated manufacture and distribution of anti-hog cholera serum. The Act's intended purpose is to ensure the safe and efficient supply of animal vaccines and other biological products. The United States Secretary of Agriculture is responsible for licensing and regulating the manufacture, importation, and exportation of affected agents. The act and its applicable guidelines are managed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).Wildlife Services
Wildlife Services is the program intended to provide Federal leadership and skill to resolve wildlife interactions that threaten public health and safety, as well as agricultural, property, and natural resources. The program is part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
Wildlife Services is tasked with protecting those resources from damage or threats posed by wildlife. It works in every state to conduct a program of integrated wildlife damage management in response to local requests. Wildlife damage management is a specialized field within the wildlife management profession.
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