TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – You might say Florida 1, screwworm 0.
The state’s Department of Agriculture has wound down its response against the flesh-eating maggots that threaten small, endangered deer Key deer in a national wildlife refuge in the Florida Keys.
The department closed down its checkpoint for New World screwworms in Key Largo on 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.
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