FDOT District Six assists in eradication of New World Screwworm in Florida Keys
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam recently thanked the SunGuide Transportation Management Center (TMC) staff for their collaborative efforts during the recent outbreak of New World Screwworm in the Florida Keys. As part of the prevention efforts, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) set up an inspection checkpoint at mile marker 64 in Key Largo to check for contaminated livestock leaving the Keys. FDACS wanted to increase awareness so they coordinated with TMC staff to post a message on the Dynamic Message Sign (DMS) at that location to alert drivers of the checkpoint.
FDACS noted a significant increase of people stopping at the checkpoint after the message was posted. The DMS message was posted beginning in October 2016 and remained until March 2017. As a result of the teamwork between both agencies, FDACS prevented the spread of New World Screwworm to the mainland and was successful in eradicating the disease statewide. These efforts also helped prevent more of the endangered Key deer from being infected and protected the state’s $10 billion livestock industry.