OTTAWA, ONTARIO--  - Canadian Food Inspection Agency says as of April 2, 2015 the Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle (BSLB) regulated area will be expanded to include the entire province of Nova Scotia. The proposed changes will reduce regulatory burden, increase awareness of the regulated areas, and maximize compliance with movement restrictions. Furthermore, the regulations will be in line with domestic and international pest management standards in order to better protect the Maritimes' forest areas from this destructive invasive insect.

The movement of regulated wood products (e.g. softwood firewood and spruce logs) by individuals is the greatest risk to the rapid and long distance spread of BSLB. The use of recognizable provincial boundaries is intended to address movement of regulated wood products by individuals. This interim province-based regulation approach will allow for more open trade regionally in the "Maritime woodbasket" while longer term measures are being considered.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will continue to work with stakeholders and consult widely before any longer-term regulatory changes are implemented.

Quick Facts

BSLB is a regulated pest in North America that affects spruce trees and impacts domestic and international trade of firewood and spruce logs. It was first identified in 1999 in Nova Scotia, and is thought to have arrived in Canada with wood packing material unloaded at the Port of Halifax.

To slow its spread, the movement of firewood and spruce logs from the infested area is restricted. The current regulated area covers in the entire province of Nova Scotia.

The CFIA establishes regulated areas to restrict the movement of potentially infested wood items to new areas where the pest has not been found in order to protect those areas.

Quotes

"The CFIA remains committed to protecting Canada's plant resource base from pests. Taking measures to slow the spread of BSLB will help keep markets open to Canadian products and protect our natural resources."

Gerry Ritz

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"This action by the CFIA is necessary to further ensure the integrity of international trade of forest related products."

Zach Churchill

Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Nova Scotia

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