Two U.S. agencies will check for pests at the Mexican border in Texas.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will provide insect identification services at the Pharr/Reynosa Bridge, according to a news release from the Mission-based Texas International Produce Association.
The agencies announced the change May 21 at the association’s Border Issues Management Program meeting in McAllen, Texas.
At the meeting, APHIS officials said office and lab space had already been found at the Pharr/Reynosa Bridge, and that infrastructure improvements were underway.
A full-time APHIS insect identifier/entomologist position has been approved for the new office. The position could be filled in three to six months.
CBP announced the development of a pilot program, in collaboration with APHIS, that will provide training for the identification of insects for CBP ag specialists.
The training will give CBP specialists more cargo release authority (CRA), which will help move fresh produce loads more quickly across the border.