USDA Allows Cacti Imports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced it has amended its regulations to allow under certain conditions Christmas cactus and Easter cactus established in an approved growing media to be imported into the United States from the Netherlands and Denmark.
Based on scientific evidence resulting from a recent pest risk analysis, these products can be safely imported into the United States under the stated conditions. To ensure that plant pests do not enter this country through the importation of these plants, APHIS is requiring that the plants be propagated from clean mother stock and grown in approved growing media, such as baked, expanded clay pallets or cork, and in greenhouses that meet certain requirements for pest exclusion for a minimum of four months prior to importation into the United States.
In addition, the plants must be inspected in the greenhouse and found free of plant pests no more than 30 days prior to export. APHIS selected these measures, among others, to effectively mitigate the risk of introducing plant pests into the United States.
The final rule was published in the March 31, 2006, Federal Register and becomes effective May 1, 2006.