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Plant Health Surveillance Unit

Summary of Plant Quarantine Pest and Disease Situations in Canada
2008 | 2007 | 2006

Library and Archives Canada archives older versions of these reports in its Government of Canada Web Archive

The Plant Health Surveillance Unit is responsible for planning, coordinating, and administering the national survey program. The survey unit also plays a lead role in the design of new surveys and is responsible for the refinement of ongoing survey techniques and tools as new methodologies develop. Other areas of work include the development of information systems to collect, organize, and store survey data and mapping of regulated pest distributions.

Delivery of the survey program is the responsibility of the CFIA operational staff. However, some pest surveys are conducted in cooperation with other agencies such as the Canadian Forest Service and provincial departments of agriculture and natural resources. Occasionally these agencies take the lead in regional coordination and delivery. The Survey unit acts as a central repository of all regulated pest survey data regardless of the agencies involved in delivering the survey program.

The objectives of the Plant Protection program within CFIA are to prevent the introduction and spread within Canada of plant pests of quarantine significance, to detect and control or eradicate designated plant pests in Canada, and to certify plant and plant products for domestic and export trade.

Pest surveys are required to maintain claims of "pest-free" status of an area, to detect new populations of quarantine pests, and to delimit populations of quarantine pests with limited distributions in Canada. Pest surveys are also an integral part of control and eradication programs. Surveys provide information in support of all regulatory programs: import, export, and domestic. In all cases, reliable and accurate pest distribution data provides the basis for sound regulatory decisions. The information may be used for a variety of purposes, including reasons for removing, altering, or even not establishing a quarantine regulation. Most of the surveys are conducted for pests listed in Schedule II of the Plant Protection Domestic Regulations, i.e. quarantine pests* which have not yet reached the limits of their potential range in Canada. Other surveys are designed to detect new introductions of exotic pest species not known to be present in Canada but considered to be of quarantine concern as identified through the Risk Assessment process.

* Quarantine Pest: "A pest of potential economic importance to the area endangered thereby and not yet present there, or present but not widely distributed and being officially controlled." (Glossary of phytosanitary terms, 1997. International Plant Protection Convention, FAO, Rome).