The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multi-faceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.
To protect agricultural health, APHIS is on the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week working to defend America’s animal and plant resources from agricultural pests and diseases. For example, if the Mediterranean fruit fly and Asian longhorned beetle, two major agricultural pests, were left unchecked, they would result in several billions of dollars in production and marketing losses annually. Similarly, if foot-and-mouth disease or highly pathogenic avian influenza were to become established in the United States, foreign trading partners could invoke trade restrictions and producers would suffer devastating losses.