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To those who spend time in the country

Have any of you declared on your customs form that you were on a farm? I don’t know why it recently hit me that maybe I should’ve done so but I am in the habit of filling in the questions as “no”, “no”, “no”, “no”.

Bearing in mind the spirit of the question, what do you consider a “farm”? A sugarcane plantation? the Outback Safari? walking through an undeveloped piece of forest? I know it specifies “visited a farm [in the DR] and will be visiting a farm [in Canada]” but I’m looking for general guidance for the future. Not so worried about the Customs guys catching me in a lie, but indeed, I don’t want to sully a cousin’s Saskatchewan farmland. (I may travel in the summer when it might make more of a difference. Nothing will live through a Saskatchewan winter, including transplanted Nova Scotians who feel the need to get away come January.)

Kaki

Good question Kaki. Lots of folks go on the tours where you stop and visit a “typical” Dominican home and they may have pigs, goats, chickens etc. Never considered it before. I would not want to cause any contamination either!

Wow! Ive never even thought about that....We did go horseback riding on a farm with Bavaro Runners this year....but I didnt even think to consider that as visiting a farm…

I would still say no on the form. If you are concerned, wash the footwear you were wearing. Half the time you are in sandals or vacation footwear. They are worried that you will track something in. I think a really thorough washing would do the trick.

Dang… I have considered this many times because when I go to thee D.R. we generally stay in the campo (country side) which certainly is a farm. Not sure exactly what they are looking for but I have always answered no.

On the couple of occasions that I went horseback riding in the countryside, I ticked yes that I had been on a farm. When going through customs I explained that I had been horseback riding through the countryside and was told I was okay. After the whole mad cow debacle, I think it is only responsible citizenship to ensure that you aren’t bringing anything into the country with you.

Well, I guess it’s much as I thought. The shoe washing would work if only I’d thought of it! Like I said, I thing is that I didn’t give it consideration since the farm I was on in the DR didn’t look much like the Canadian wheatfields. It was entirely just a “nope, I haven’t been on a farm” type of thing. I came away with pictures and an injury so it’s not as though it was non-memorable, it just didn’t cross my mind. I’d totally wear the same footwear on a farm here as I would there.

Remember when Prince Charles came here during one of the mad cow scares and they made him dip his shoes? Nobody’s free of the responsibility! Since I started this thread, I’ve seen a commercial on TV–anybody else?–saying “this suitcase could take down a crop”, “this suitcase could devastate”, etc. Maybe it’s more than just a handful of us who haven’t been paying attention to the issue and its potential hazard.

Kaki

I’m working in a medical field, and I can see in a daily basis people overreacting with infection control.
However the potential of transmitting some bad stuff is existing. But, those microbes and viruses are not everywhere just waiting for your pick up / delivery service.
In Canada we are more catholic than the pope. Nowhere we did travel we need to declare, sign what we are bringing with us and how many ounces of alcohol or number of cigarettes or grams of coffee.
The infections could transmit in very-very unpredicted ways, and just because someone steps out from a resort for a day of Safari or to visit Otra Banda, Bayahibe, or sugar plant field doesn’t necessary means the person should stay away from a farm here for a year.
So filling those forms are a bit symbolic, but common sense is more important. (if you will step in dirt on a farm in Dr you probable will wash your shoes before coming home…)

Oooops! I’ve NEVER washed my shoes when away or at home. They never seem dirty enough to make it so apparent that I should do it. I’ve been known to dust the tops on the back of my other pantleg though!

Kaki

well I was thinking about stepping in “natural fertilizer” or manure… not the dust!
hahaha