OTTAWA, ON -- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo in the Highway 401 and Fountain Street area and in the County of Oxford, Ontario, along Highway 401 near Oxford County Road 3.
Movement restrictions on regulated wood materials will be placed on the affected properties and the owners will be notified. Further regulatory measures will be considered once survey work is completed for the year.
Although the EAB does not pose a risk to human health, it is a highly destructive beetle that has already killed a large number of ash trees in Ontario and north eastern U.S., and it poses a major economic threat to urban and forested areas of North America. There have been numerous finds of this pest in Ontario and Quebec.
The emerald ash borer can spread rapidly if moved by people. The key challenge in limiting the spread of this beetle is to prevent people from moving potentially infested ash materials - such as logs, branches, nursery stock, wood chips and firewood of all species - to non-infested areas. The public can play a key part in helping to control the spread of EAB by avoiding actions that would promote its spread.
The CFIA continues to work with provincial and municipal governments and other stakeholders towards slowing the spread of the EAB. We all have a responsibility to protect Canada's forests.
The emerald ash borer was first discovered in Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan in 2002. It is believed that it was introduced to North America from eastern Asia in wooden packaging materials in the early 1990s, but went undetected until its population built up to damaging levels.
The CFIA employs measures to control the movement of potentially infested materials in order to slow the apread of EAB to new areas. Ministerial Orders are issued to prohibit the movement of ash tree material and firewood of any species outside the regulated area without prior permission from the CFIA. Those who move regulated materials from regulated areas without the permission of the CFIA could face fines and/or prosecution.
In Canada, infestations have been detected and Ministerial Orders have been put in place for:
* the cities of Hamilton and Toronto and the regions of Halton, Peel, York, Durham and Niagara;
* the Municipality of Chatham-Kent and the counties of Essex, Elgin, Lambton and Middlesex;
* Norfolk County;
* Huron County;
* Sault Ste. Marie;
* Ottawa and its neighbouring city of Gatineau; and
* the municipalities of Carignan, Chambly, Richelieu, Saint-Basile-le-Grand and Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu.
In addition, regulatory measures have been put in place to restrict movement of risk materials from specific properties in the City of Brantford and in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, where EAB has recently been confirmed.
Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
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