ANIMAL HEALTH ...

Florida has won battle against screwworms

Comes after more than five months of aggressive response efforts

New World screwworm can eat livestock and pets alive, and once cost the U.S. livestock industry millions every year. (Daniel Oines, Flickr/Creative Commons)

TALLAHASSEE (AP) — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says it will wind down its response against flesh-eating maggots that threaten small, endangered deer in a national wildlife refuge in the Florida Keys.

The department said in a news release that the check point for New World screwworms in Key Largo will close at 7 p.m. Saturday. This comes after more than five months of aggressive response efforts and no new screwworm infestations found since January 10.

New World screwworm can eat livestock and pets alive, and once cost the U.S. livestock industry millions every year. There hadn’t been a U.S. infestation in over 30 years, until agriculture officials confirmed in September that screwworm was killing the dog-sized Key deer whose range is limited to a national wildlife refuge.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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