The Georgia Department of Agriculture provides services and regulatory functions, protects and promotes agriculture and consumer interests, and ensures an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the primary state agency given statutory authority to protect the state’s agriculture resources from invasive pests. Enabling statutes include the Entomology Act of 1937 (O.C.G.A. §2-7-1), the Georgia Boll Weevil Eradication Act of 1985 (O.C.G.A §2-7-150), the Georgia Bee Law (O.C.G.A. §2-14-40), the Bird Dealers Licensing Act (O.C.G.A §4-10-1), and the Prevention of Disease in Livestock Act (O.C.G.A. §4-4-1). Georgia Department of Agriculture employees are authorized to inspect; survey for, and treat for pests which may be injurious to livestock, agricultural, horticultural, or other interests of the state. The GDA actively inspects establishments for the presence of livestock and plant pests and cooperatives with other agencies in conducting additional surveys for exotic invasive pests.
The GDA-PPD conducts over 8,000 inspections of plant growers and plant retail centers each year with a portion of each inspection devoted to exotic pest detection. 800 insect and plant disease samples are collected and submitted for identification. GDA-PPD personnel work with plant nurseries to keep their production premises free from federal noxious weeds. Additionally, The GDA-PPD participates in the Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey program for detection of harmful agriculture pests.