The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) was established in 1972 to protect the health and value of United States agriculture. Today, the mission of APHIS is to ensure the health and prosperity of United States agriculture and natural resources. In addition to protecting our agricultural plants and animals from disease and pests, APHIS also regulates genetically engineered organisms, administers the Animal Welfare Act, and is involved in wildlife damage and disease management.
In the event of an infectious animal disease outbreak, APHIS will dispatch Regional Animal Disease Eradication Officer (READEO) teams to the affected area. The READEO team will work with the State Veterinarians and the USDA Area Veterinarian in Charge to carry out quarantine, euthanasia, disposal/disinfection and epidemiology, as necessary. The READEO team will also contact the USDA Office of Inspector General to investigate the nature of the disease outbreak whether natural, accidental or intentional.
- APHIS Home Page
- Animal Health - This division is responsible for preventing and/or controlling the spread of animal diseases and monitoring animal health and productivity.
- Plant Protection and Quarantine - PPQ is responsible for preventing the introduction and spread of plant pests and diseases and maintaining a healthy and diverse food supply.
- Biotechnology Regulatory Services - BRS is responsible for regulating the testing, movement and importation of genetically engineered organisms. The BRS is also responsible for testing these organisms to ensure that they are safe for the environment.
- Wildlife Damage Management - Wildlife Services is responsible for resolving conflicts between people and wildlife.
- Animal Welfare - The Animal Care division is responsible for administering and enforcing the Animal Welfare Act.