581.011  Definitions. -- As used in this chapter:

(25)  "Plant pest" means any living stage of any insects, mites, nematodes, slugs, snails, protozoa, or other invertebrate animals, bacteria, fungi, other parasitic plants or their reproductive parts, or viruses, or any organisms similar to or allied with any of the foregoing, including any genetically engineered organisms, or any infectious substances which can directly or indirectly injure or cause disease or damage in any plants or plant parts or any processed, manufactured, or other plant products.

581.031  Department; powers and duties. -- The department has the following powers and duties:

(6)  To declare a plant pest, noxious weed, or arthropod a nuisance as well as any plant or other thing infested or infected therewith or that has been exposed to infestation or infection and is therefore likely to contaminate other plants or things.

(9)  To enter into cooperative arrangements with any person, municipality, county, and other department of this state and with boards, officers, and authorities of other states and the United States, including the United States Department of Agriculture, for the inspection of plants, plant parts, and plant products and the control or eradication of plant pests or noxious weeds and to contribute a just proportionate share of the expenses incurred under these arrangements.

(15)(a)  To inspect plants, plant products, or other things and substances that may be capable of disseminating or carrying plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods, and for this purpose shall have power to enter into or upon any place and to open any bundle, package, or other container containing, or thought to contain, such material, and to take possession of such material if determined by the department to pose a threat to the agricultural or public interests of this state.

(17)  To supervise, or cause to be supervised, the treatment, cutting, and destruction of plants, plant parts, fruit, soil, containers, equipment, and other articles capable of harboring plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods, if they are infested or located in an area which may be suspected of being infested or infected due to its proximity to a known infestation, or if they were reasonably exposed to infestation, to prevent or control the dissemination of or to eradicate plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods, and to make rules governing these procedures.

581.111  Emergency.--

An emergency is any situation in which the department has declared a plant pest or noxious weed to be a public nuisance or when in the opinion of the department a plant pest or noxious weed endangers or threatens the horticultural and agricultural interest of the state.

581.181  Notice of infection of plants; destruction.--

(1)  If the director or her or his authorized representative finds, on examination, any plant or plant product infested or infected with plant pests or noxious weeds, she or he shall notify in writing the owner or person having charge of the premises, and the owner or person in charge shall, within 10 days after the notice, cause the removal and destruction of the infested and infected plant or plant product if it cannot be successfully treated; otherwise, the owner or person in charge shall cause it to be treated as directed in the notice by the director or an authorized representative of the division. No damage shall be awarded to the owner for the destruction of the infested or infected plant or plant product under the provisions of this chapter.

(2)  If the owner or person in charge refuses or neglects to comply with the terms of the notice within 10 days after receiving it, the director or her or his authorized representative may, under authority of the department, proceed to treat or destroy the infested or infected plant or plant product. The expense of the treatment or destruction shall be assessed, collected, and enforced against the owner by the department.


For the complete text of all Florida Statutes, go to Online Sunshine, the official web site of the Florida Legislature.

  Prepared 28 Aug 2001. Last modified 19 Dec 2001. Send comments and suggestions to John Foltz.

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