Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, CDFA Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
California Border Threats featured Tuesday Night on “Homeland Security USA”
SACRAMENTO – A new television program that highlights the threat to homeland security posed by invasive species will premier Tuesday night on the ABC Television Network.
The program, “Homeland Security USA,” premieres on Tuesday, January 6 at 8 p.m. on ABC stations. The first episode “This is Your Car on Drugs,” features international entry points to the U.S. such as the Los Angeles International Airport. The episode also takes you behind the scenes with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to see some unusual illegal items intercepted at the International Mail Center in Carson, California, where officers discovered barbecued bats. Additional episodes will feature California’s airports and the measures taken by Customs and Border Protection officials to protect the state’s agriculture and commerce from invasive pests and diseases.
“This series is an important reminder of the risk we face from invasive species introduced each day in California,” said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. “Whether it’s bats, exotic insects, or livestock, CDFA persistently works at all major points of entry to uncover illegal transportation of dangerous pests and diseases that threaten our food supply and our health. We are pleased with the collaboration between agencies to protect our state against the invasion of exotic pests and diseases.”
Exotic and invasive strains and species ranging from plants and animals to insect pests and diseases put California’s resources at serious risk, particularly from international travel and commerce. The CDFA and other agencies protect the environment and agriculture by preventing the introduction and establishment of these pests. In 2008, CDFA Border Protection Stations inspected more than 22.1 million vehicles and 7.3 million commercial vehicles, rejecting over 43,000 lots of fruits, vegetables and plants that were in violation of quarantine laws. With the help of CDFA’s Plant Pest Diagnostics Lab, inspectors intercepted over 2,500 confirmed exotic invasive species capable of causing damage to California’s agricultural and urban environments.
For more information on invasive pests and diseases, please visit our website at www.cdfa.ca.gov/invasives.