Learn how you can help to protect Canada’s plants, forests and agriculture this International Day of Plant Health

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OTTAWA, ON, May 12, 2023 /CNW/ – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is proud to recognize the International Day of Plant Health, observed annually on May 12. As spring and summer bloom across the country, Canadians are reminded of the importance of protecting our forests, gardens, farms, and environment from invasive pests and plants.

The introduction and spread of plant pests could have devastating impacts on Canada’s forests, agriculture, environment and economy. The emerald ash borer and the spongy moth have had significant impacts on forests throughout much of Canada. The spotted lanternfly could have significant impacts on Canada’s grape and wine industries, and also affect the fruit tree, nursery, maple syrup and forestry sectors.

 You may be spreading invasive species. They are most active in the summer months and they can hitch a ride on anything that moves, like vehicles, trailers, transport trucks, camping gear and firewood.

There are many ways to help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species:

  • Learn about the invasive species that are in your area and what they look like;
  • Don’t move firewood – burn local or purchase heat treated firewood;
  • Clean and inspect outdoor gear, vehicles, equipment (e.g., boats, ATVs, RVs, camping gear, lawn mowers) and other things stored outdoors before you move it; and
  • Report any suspicious plant pests to the CFIA online or by contacting your local office.

The CFIA works with industry, stakeholders, and other government agencies to protect Canada’s agriculture, forestry and environmental sectors from invasive species through regulations, science-based risk assessments, annual surveys and inspections.

Everyone has a role to play in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species. Check it before you move it!


“Invasive species can cause significant damage to Canada’s environment and economy when they invade farm land, forests, and parks. The International Day of Plant Health is a day to highlight the actions we can all take everyday to protect plant health.”

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food

“Protecting plant health is essential to safeguarding Canada’s environment, economy, and food supply. On this International Day of Plant Health, I encourage you to enjoy nature and keep your eyes open for plant pests. Everyone has a part to play in protecting the health and well-being of our planet for future generations. If you see something out of the ordinary, please report it to the CFIA.”

Anthony Anyia, Chief Plant Health Officer for Canada

Quick Facts

  • Some of CFIA’s invasive plants and pests of concern:
    • Emerald ash borer has spread to parts of five provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba) and has killed millions of ash trees across North America.
    • Spotted lanternfly is not known to exist in Canada but was added to the regulated pest list in 2018 in an effort to prevent its introduction from infested areas in the United States and elsewhere. Report all sightings!
    • Spongy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar or LDD moth) is established in many areas east of the Manitoba–Ontario border. Report it if you find it outside the regulated area, including in Newfoundland and Labrador or western Canada.
    • Hemlock woolly adelgid is threatening hemlock trees in Nova Scotia and parts of Ontario. Survey activities for this pest are ongoing, and measures are in place to contain it.
  • The CFIA is the National Plant Protection Organization for Canada and is responsible for setting and implementing plant-health regulations, policies and programs, that are based in science and consistent with international standards and trade rules.
  • Canada, the United States and Mexico work within the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) to protect plant health across North America.

Related links

  • Stop the Spread and help keep invasive species out of Canada
  • Inspect & Protect: podcasts, videos, articles and more about plant health
  • Don’t move firewood – Prevent the spread of pests
  • Protecting Canada’s plant health: Be a Plant Health Hero
  • Plant pest cards and fact sheets

Stay connected

Twitter: @InspectionCan

Facebook: CFIACanada

LinkedIn: canadian-food-inspection-agency

Instagram: cfia_canada

YouTube: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) touches the lives of all Canadians in so many positive ways. Each day, hard-working CFIA employees—including inspectors, veterinarians and scientists—inspect food for safety risks, protect plants from pests and invasive species, and respond to animal diseases that could threaten Canada’s national herd and human health. Guided by science-based decision-making and modern regulations, the Agency works tirelessly to ensure access to safe and healthy food in Canada, and support access to international markets for our high-quality agricultural products. To learn more, visit inspection.canada.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

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