VAUGHAN, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Apr 5, 2013) - Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, announced today that the Asian Long-horned Beetle (ALHB) has been successfully eradicated from Canada, following nearly a decade of collaborative efforts between federal, provincial and municipal authorities.
"Today marks an important milestone in our fight against invasive pests," said PS Lemieux. "Thanks to the hard work and dedication of many organizations and individuals, I'm pleased to announce that the Asian Long-horned Beetle has been successfully eradicated from Canada."
"Our government has been strongly committed to the eradication of invasive species like the Asian Long-horned beetle. We are pleased to see that our efforts have paid off," said Minister Oliver. "Our world-class science and research will continue to support affected regions across Canada for the purposes of eliminating invasive species and protecting Canada's forests."
The Asian Long-horned Beetle is not native to Canada and was first detected in the cities of Vaughan and Toronto in 2003. Following the detection, the CFIA conducted visual surveys to determine how widely the pest had spread, and the extent of the damage it had caused to many broadleaf trees, such as maple, birch, elm, poplar and willow.
A Ministerial Order-the Asian Long-horned Beetle Infested Place Order-was subsequently established around the southern part of the City of Vaughan and the north east part of the City of Toronto to prevent further spread. As part of the eradication effort, nearly 30,000 trees were also removed from the area.
The Asian Long-horned Beetle was last detected inside the regulated area in December 2007. It has never been detected elsewhere in Canada.
Many organizations and groups played a critical role in the eradication efforts, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Natural Resources Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Cities of Vaughan and Toronto, York Region, the forestry industry and the public.
With today's announcement, Minister Ritz also repeals the Asian Long-horned Beetle Infested Place Order. This means that tree materials, including nursery stock, trees, logs, lumber, wood, and wood and bark chips from tree species that are susceptible to the Asian Long-horned Beetle, may once again be freely moved out of, or through, this area.
The Asian Long-horned Beetle has no natural controls, and the only way to eradicate the insect was to remove all susceptible trees within a defined area. In September 2003, when the CFIA confirmed the detection of ALHB in the cities of Vaughan and Toronto, all infested and susceptible trees were removed within a 200 or 400 metre radius to eliminate the spread of the beetle to uninfested trees.
More information on regulated pests in Canada is available on the CFIA website at www.inspection.gc.ca/pests.