October 3, 2023

Don’t Pack a Pest outreach programme to be launched

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Dont Pack flyerThe launch of the “Don’t Pack a Pest” programme, a very important initiative designed to educate the traveling public about the risks associated with bringing undeclared agricultural items into the Cayman Islands and other ports of entry, either in the US, throughout the Caribbean region or globally. The goal of the program is to protect the region and indeed the world’s agriculture and natural environments from invasive pests and diseases.

The Don’t Pack a Pest outreach programme is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; the Cayman Islands Government and the Caribbean Plant Health Directors Forum (which includes representatives from most of the countries in the Caribbean Region).

Components of the programme used to deliver this clear simple message of ‘Don’t Pack a Pest’ include a 60-second video, featuring Linus, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agricultural detector dog as the “spokesperson,” and accompanying signage that is now displayed here at the airport and the George Town Port; and throughout major ports of entry in the U.S., as well as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. The signage will soon be extended to the airport and seaport in Cayman Brac and future partnerships with other Caribbean countries are planned.

Now in its fourth year, the program has reached millions of travelers with its simple message, “When You Travel, Declare Agriculture Items and Please Don’t Pack a Pest.” This latest launch in the Cayman Islands will further extend this outreach to a new group of travelers, brining increased awareness and recognition of importance of protecting these islands and the entire Caribbean Region and the potential consequences of bringing in undeclared plants, animals and other agricultural items.

The launch will be attended by Members of Cabinet and the Legislative Assembly, as well as dignitaries from the partnering agencies, representatives from the air and seaports and other key government departments, agencies and non-governmental organizations.

The morning will include a demonstration by the Cayman Islands’ Department of Agriculture’s Detector Dog Team, with our own agricultural detector dog, ‘Maya’, the first in the region outside of the Continental US and its territories.

The launching will be executed by Minister for Agriculture Hon. Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP on Wednesday July 2nd at 10am at Owen Roberts International Airport Waving Gallery 2nd Floor.


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