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Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Latest Advisories

Subscribing to get DPIPWE’s Biosecurity Advisories is the best way you can keep yourself up-to-date and fully informed about Tasmanian biosecurity issues. Our Advisories cover topics such as changes or proposed changes to Tasmania’s import regulations, animal health and welfare, plant health, forthcoming regulation reviews and opportunities for public comment, new or emerging pest/disease risks and a range of other matters related to Tasmania’s biosecurity.


Biosecurity Advisory 11/2017 – Nominations now open for Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year

If you know an Australian primary prodcuer who takes biosecurity seriously and goes the extra length to avoid diseases, pests and weeds coming on to their property, then nominate them for the 2018 Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year by 20 October 2017.

Animal Health Australia (AHA) and Plant Health Australia (PHA), through the Farm Biosecurity Program, have partnered with the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to deliver the inaugural category specifically for Australian producers as part of the annual Australian Biosecurity Awards.

Whether they work individually or with local, state or federal bodies, producers play a vital role in managing endemic diseases, pests and weeds and are crucial in detecting and containing exotic disease and pest threats. The Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year Award was established to recognise the contribution of producers who demonstrate outstanding, proactive on-farm biosecurity practices.  Australian primary producers, including individuals and organisations can be nominated. This comprises all forms of Australian farming, including large commercial operations, new and emerging niche industries and hobby-level farmers.

The 2018 Australian Biosecurity Awards will be presented at a gala dinner in Canberra in March 2018.

For information on the awards, including the nomination form, visit agriculture.gov.au/aba and for more information on the Farm Biosecurity Program’s six on-farm biosecurity essentials, visit farmbiosecurity.com.au.

(15/9/2017)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Pasture; Natural environment; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 7/2017 - Public comment invited on proposal to import African Wild Dog into Tasmania

​The Wildlife Management Branch received species profile to facilitate risk assessments for the potential import into Tasmania of:
 
African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)
 
Public comments are invited by 21 August 2017
 
African wild dogs are medium-sized carnivores weighing approximately between 18-35 kg, (males generally weighing more than females) and an average height of 60-75 cm at the shoulder. Their length from the head to the base of the tail averages between 84-141 cm with a tail length of 30-40 cm (Leigh 2005; Barnes 2017). 

The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) is a unique species that originally occurred throughout sub-Saharan Africa with large home ranges. The African wild dog is considered to be of great conservation importance, as they are classified as the most endangered carnivore in southern Africa with populations continuing to decline.

The African wild dog is listed as ‘endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List) since its evaluation in 2012, and is continuing to decline due to habitat loss through habitat fragmentation; predation and disease; human causes including snare trapping, persecution by farmers and car collision. African wild dogs are listed as a species ‘suitable for live import with an import permit’ issued under The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 with the condition of import being ‘Eligible non-commercial purposes only, excluding household pets'. 

Staff members from varying agencies of DPIPWE assessed the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) as being moderately dangerous to humans, having a low establishment risk with an extreme consequence of establishment. Consequently, the assessment concluded that the risk posed by importing African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) into Tasmania would be serious.
 


(8/8/2017)
Categories: Invasive Species; Wildlife; Natural environment;


Biosecurity Advisory 5/2017 – Barley and grain growers encouraged to remain vigilant for signs of Ramularia leaf spot.

​Biosecurity Tasmania is encouraging barley and other grain growers to remain vigilant for signs of Ramularia leaf spot of barley.

Ramularia leaf spot of barley (Ramularia collo-cygni) hampers leaf development which can lead to loss of green leaf area in crops, and can result in yield loss.  Symptoms include small brown rectangular lesions with yellow margins within the leaf veins, visible from both sides of the leaf but most obvious on the exposed upper leaves after flowering.  Whilst it spreads via spores to nearby hosts, evidence suggests that long distance spread is limited to infected sown seed.

Growers should be on the lookout for barley plants showing these symptoms—but note these can be easily confused with net blotch that is common on other grasses in Australia.  The disease is suited to Tasmania’s cooler climate and it is most common in northern Britain.

Whilst barley is the main host of concern, Ramularia leaf spot has also been reported on oats and wheat so these are potential secondary hosts - although less likely to be impacted by the disease.

Ramularia leaf spot was detected on a small plot near Hagley earlier this year. The detection was immediately responded to with the crop removed and appropriately disposed of, with the site further treated to remove the fungus presence. The site remains under ongoing management and surveillance.

There have been no further detections of the disease at the site or other areas. Surveillance continues to be undertaken and grain growers are encouraged to remain vigilant for signs of Ramularia leaf spot.

Biosecurity Tasmania wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the affected research groups, crop managers and land owners in reporting this disease promptly and in cooperating with the response work thus far.

What to do if you think you have found Ramularia leaf spot of barley

Plant Diagnostic Services in Biosecurity Tasmania (DPIPWE) will test barley samples suspected of being infected with Ramularia leaf spot free of charge. 

Specimens or images can be submitted to a DPIPWE plant pathologist - call 1300 368 550 to be directed to a plant pathologist.  Samples of symptomatic barley leaves should be placed in sealed double plastic bags and sent to:

DPIPWE Plant Diagnostic Services
13 St John’s Avenue
New Town, TAS  7008

Further information, including images of Ramularia leaf spot of barley symptoms can be found on the Biosecurity Tasmania website.

(13/7/2017)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Seeds; Policy and Legislation; Pasture; Wildlife; Natural environment; Timber imports; Marine pests; Livestock; Invasive Species; Gene technology; Freshwater pests;


Biosecurity Advisory 4/2017 - Biosecurity Bill 2017: public comment invited on draft legislation

Biosecurity Bill 2017: public comment invited on draft legislation

Draft legislation which will provide a sound and flexible framework for the future management of Tasmania’s biosecurity has been released for public comment today (Friday 21 April 2017).

The Biosecurity Bill 2017 seeks to replace seven existing Acts with one piece of framework legislation focussed on all biosecurity matter and the carriers which move it around. The Bill promotes a precautionary approach with the order of priority being to prevent, eliminate and reduce biosecurity risks. 

Enshrining the principle that biosecurity is a shared responsibility, the Bill includes creation of a General Biosecurity Duty to apply to the broader community and businesses and which defines reasonable standards of care and behaviour when dealing with biosecurity risk.

Industries wanting a greater role in formal biosecurity control will be offered partnerships and pathways to do so through accreditation, certification and auditing regimes; and through approved biosecurity programs.

Authorised officers will have new tools to engage with people and businesses creating biosecurity risks, including accepting legally enforceable undertakings that specific action will be taken to prevent, eliminate or minimise a particular biosecurity risk.

Consultation has already occurred on both a position paper and a Future Directions statement leading up to the release of the draft Bill. The consultation draft of the Biosecurity Bill 2017 will be open for formal feedback until 2 June 2017. It is anticipated that a finalised legislative package will be ready for introduction during this Parliamentary year.

A copy of the consultation draft of the Biosecurity Bill 2017, together with plain language fact sheets can be downloaded from the Biosecurity Tasmania website at: dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity/about-biosecurity-tasmania/biosecurity-legislation-review

Comments on the draft Bill should be provided in writing to Biosecurity Tasmania either via email or post by 2 June 2017.


Via post: 
Biosecurity Legislation Project
Biosecurity Tasmania, DPIPWE
GPO Box 44
HOBART TAS 7001

For further information:

Project Manager​​
Biosecurity Legislation Project
Phone: 03 6165 3084

(21/4/2017)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Timber imports; Wildlife; Policy and Legislation;


Biosecurity Advisory 3/2017 - Tomato potato psyllid detection in Western Australia- what it means for Tasmania

Tomato potato psyllid detection in Western Australia- what it means for Tasmania

Tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) was detected in Western Australia at several properties near Perth, Western Australia, early February 2017.  This is the first detection of this pest in Australia.

Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) is a sap-sucking insect that feeds on many plants in the Solanaceae family which includes potato, tomato, capsicum, eggplant and tamarillo and some in the Convolvulaceae family such as sweet potato.

Actions are being taken nationally in response to this detection and to minimise the risk of movement of the pest to other parts of Australia.

Implications for Tasmania

If this pest entered Tasmania it would have greatest significance for growers of potato, tomato, capsicum, eggplant and related crops both indoors and outdoors. It also has implications for the nursery industry.

As part of a Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture project, a network of yellow sticky traps has operated in Tasmanian potato crops in recent years to obtain early warning should this pest enter Tasmania.

The pest has not been detected in Tasmania.  However commercial producers and backyard growers are asked to check their crops for signs of the psyllid. Biosecurity Tasmania’s Plant Diagnostic Services can identify suspect material free of charge. If you think the tomato potato psyllid may be present in your crop or backyard plants, you need to report this to Biosecurity Tasmania by phoning the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

About tomato potato psyllid

The tomato potato psyllid causes injury to plants directly by its feeding. It can also transmit a bacterial disease known as zebra chip which poses an additional threat to important horticultural crops, particularly potatoes. Damage to crops is most severe when the insect vector and bacteria coincide.  The bacterium has not been detected in Western Australia.

The noticeable signs of the tomato potato psyllid include insects jumping from the foliage when disturbed, severe wilting of plants occurs when there are large numbers of psyllids feeding, yellowing of leaf margins and upward curling of the leaves, and honeydew and psyllid sugar make the plants sticky and they often appear dirty.

Actions taken by Biosecurity Tasmania thus far

Importation pathways for risk produce from Western Australia have been investigated by Biosecurity Tasmania. With some exceptions Tasmania does not receive risk produce directly from Western Australia reducing risk of movement into Tasmania.  Where produce may enter, it is via South Australia or Victoria first and must meet those State’s emergency conditions thus buffering risk for Tasmania.  

Tasmania has had treatment requirements on a range of risk material should any pathway exist, hence mitigating risk.  Additional requirements are not deemed necessary at this time.

The Chief Plant Health Manager (Tasmania) has declared TPP a List A Pest under the Plant Quarantine Act 1997 enabling regulatory action to be taken if needed.  He has also issued an Area Freedom certificate for TPP to support continued access. for Tasmanian produce being exported interstate.  An industry information forum will be organised by Biosecurity Tasmania in the near future as additional information comes to hand.

As a general reminder, all growers need to practise sound farm biosecurity to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. Find out more at www.farmbiosecurity.com.au

Further information and images of the pest
Plant Health Australia:
http://www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/pests/tomatopotato-psyllid/
AusVeg:
http://ausveg.com.au/publications/Tomato-Potato%20Psyllid%20Flyer.pdf

(20/2/2017)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species;

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