USDA Amends Imported Fire Ant Quarantine

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it is amending the imported fire ant quarantine to include all or portions of 18 additional counties in Tennessee and one additional county in Arkansas.

APHIS currently regulates portions of, or entire areas of, 13 states including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

The interstate movement of regulated articles, including soil, plants and sod is restricted from the quarantined area. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of imported fire ants to noninfested areas of the United States.

The imported fire ant is an aggressive, stinging insect that, in large numbers, can seriously injure livestock, pets and humans. This pest feeds on crops and builds large, hard mounds that damage farm and field machinery.

Effective upon publication, notice of this interim rule is published in the Aug. 8 Federal Register. APHIS documents published in the Federal Register are available on the Internet at

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