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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: POSTHARVEST TREATMENT OF TROPICAL COMMODITIES FOR QUARANTINE SECURITY, QUALITY MAINTENANCE, AND VALUE ENHANCEMENT Title: Learning from Quarantine Successes

Authors
item Hollingsworth, Robert
item Loope, Llyoyd - USGS

Submitted to: Hawaiian Entomological Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 24, 2005
Publication Date: December 1, 2007
Citation: Hollingsworth, R.G., L.L. Loope. 2007. Learning from quarantine successes. Proc. Hawaiian Entomol. Soc. 39: 57-61.

Interpretive Summary: Hawaii’s defense against pest incursion depends upon the functioning of two distinct quarantine entities –the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with technical support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS); and the State of Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture (HDOA). These procedures play a vital role in keeping out quarantine pests, directly (through interceptions) and indirectly (through their psychological deterrent effect). However, there are gaps in Hawaii’s quarantine net. A report describing a study called the “Kahului Airport Risk Assessment” (KARA) provides a valuable overview of state quarantine functioning and assessment of how the state’s quarantine surveillance system could be improved. KARA involved intensive inspections of checked and carry-on-baggage by inspectors and detector dog teams; inspections of aircraft cabins and cargo holds of mainland flights; and (initially) 100% inspections of agricultural products shipped by air cargo. The KARA report identified agricultural cargo as a high risk pathway for the entry of pests into Maui. This report may ultimately serve as a watershed development or “tipping point” toward upgrading of HDOA’s ability to protect Hawaii from harmful new invasions. Additional lessons can be learned from the quarantine programs of New Zealand and Australia, which emphasize the importance of educating and involving the public in the fight to keep out quarantine pests. Under-utilized possibilities for educating the public in Hawaii include in-flight videos, increased use of educational programs in schools, news conferences and media advertising. In the long term, the cost of funding such programs is likely to be much less than the amount of money that would otherwise have been spent dealing with the increased number of new pest incursions.

Technical Abstract: Hawaii’s defense against pest incursion depends upon the functioning of two distinct quarantine entities –the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with technical support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS); and the State of Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture (HDOA). These procedures play a vital role in keeping out quarantine pests, directly (through interceptions) and indirectly (through their psychological deterrent effect). However, there are gaps in Hawaii’s quarantine net. A report describing a study called the “Kahului Airport Risk Assessment” (KARA) provides a valuable overview of state quarantine functioning and assessment of how the state’s quarantine surveillance system could be improved. KARA involved intensive inspections of checked and carry-on-baggage by inspectors and detector dog teams; inspections of aircraft cabins and cargo holds of mainland flights; and (initially) 100% inspections of agricultural products shipped by air cargo. The KARA report identified agricultural cargo as a high risk pathway for the entry of pests into Maui. This report may ultimately serve as a watershed development or “tipping point” toward upgrading of HDOA’s ability to protect Hawaii from harmful new invasions. Additional lessons can be learned from the quarantine programs of New Zealand and Australia, which emphasize the importance of educating and involving the public in the fight to keep out quarantine pests. Under-utilized possibilities for educating the public in Hawaii include in-flight videos, increased use of educational programs in schools, news conferences and media advertising. In the long term, the cost of funding such programs is likely to be much less than the amount of money that would otherwise have been spent dealing with the increased number of new pest incursions.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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