§ 8–304. Plant diseases and insect pest control.
(a) In order further to control and eradicate and to prevent the dissemination of dangerous plant diseases and insect infections and infestations, no plant or plant products for or capable of propagation, including nursery stock, hereinafter referred to as plants and plant products, shall be moved or allowed to be moved, shipped, transported, or carried by any means whatever into or out of the District of Columbia, except in compliance with such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture as hereinafter provided. Whenever the Secretary of Agriculture, after investigation, shall determine that any plants and plant products in the District of Columbia are infested or infected with insect pests and diseases and that any place, articles, and substances used or connected therewith are so infested or infected, written notice thereof shall be given by him to the owner or person in possession or control thereof, and such owner or person shall forthwith control or eradicate and prevent the dissemination of such insect pest or disease and shall remove, cut, or destroy such infested and infected plants, plant products, and articles and substances used or connected therewith, which are hereby declared to be nuisances, within the time and in the manner required in said notice or by the rules and regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture. Whenever such owner or person cannot be found, or shall fail, neglect, or refuse to comply with the foregoing provisions of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture is hereby authorized and required to control and eradicate and prevent dissemination of such insect pest or disease and to remove, cut, or destroy infested or infected plants and plant products and articles and substances used or connected therewith, and the United States shall have an action of debt against such owner or persons for expenses incurred by the Secretary of Agriculture in that behalf. Employees of the Regulatory Division of the Department of Agriculture are hereby authorized and required to inspect places, plants, and plant products and articles and substances used or connected therewith whenever the Secretary of Agriculture shall determine that such inspections are necessary for the purposes of this section. For the purpose of carrying out the provisions and requirements of this section and of the rules and regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture made hereunder, and the notices given pursuant thereto, employees of the Regulatory Division of the Department of Agriculture shall have power with a warrant to enter into or upon any place and open any bundle, package, or other container of plants or plant products whenever they shall have cause to believe that infections or infestations of plant pests and diseases exist therein or thereon, and when such infections or infestations are found to exist, after notice by the Secretary of Agriculture to the owner or person in possession or control thereof and an opportunity by said owner or person to be heard, to destroy the infected or infested plants or plant products contained therein. The Superior Court of the District of Columbia shall have power, upon information supported by oath or affirmation showing probable cause for believing that there exists in any place, bundle, package, or other container in the District of Columbia any plant or plant product which is infected or infested with plant pests or disease, to issue warrants for the search for and seizure of all such plants and plant products.
(b) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Agriculture, and he is hereby required, from time to time, to make and promulgate such rules and regulations as shall be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, and any person who shall move or allow to be moved, or shall ship, transport, or carry, by any means whatever, any plant or plant products from or into the District of Columbia, except in compliance with the rules and regulations prescribed under this section, shall be punished, as is provided in § 8-305.