Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
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 Tasmania urges owners of sheep to be vigilant for any signs in their flock of cold stress brought about by forecast cold conditions and heavy rains. Sheep recently shorn and new lambs could be suffering due to the weather conditions and all reasonable precautions should be taken to minimise the effects of cold stress.
Sheep have a natural insulation to extreme weather with their fleece. In cold, wet and windy conditions, sheep shiver, huddle together in the mob and seek shelter behind windbreaks to produce and conserve heat. However, these mechanisms have limits. If weather stress is excessive or prolonged, the sheep's capacity to maintain a stable body temperature may be exceeded and cold stress will result. Hypothermia most commonly occurs in freshly shorn, light condition sheep during wet and windy conditions at any time of the year
Hypothermia literally means 'temperature below normal', occurs when too much body heat is lost or too little body heat is produced, and the result is a drop in body temperature. If weather stress is excessive or prolonged, a sheep's capacity to maintain a stable body temperature may be exceeded, and heat or cold stress will result.
High rainfall and high winds combined with temperatures below normal will cause mortalities in young animals, especially newly shorn sheep without shelter. The impact of the cold weather will depend on its duration, rainfall, wind speed and temperature—the 'wind chill' factor can double heat loss.
Sheep suffering from hypothermia often die as a result of their own behaviour and their attempts to cope. Sheep move in the direction of the wind until they are stopped by a barrier such as a fence, gully or creek. At this point they may pile on top of each other leading to suffocation or drowning. Sheep may be reluctant or unable to move when wet and cold.
Initially sheep will try to maintain their body temperature by:
If dealing with a small flock, consider applying garbage bags as coats for the sheep. Trials have shown that properly fitted plastic bags can decrease the loss of body heat even in severely hypothermic sheep.
Be prepared to relocate animals to a shed or land on higher ground, or move stock to paddocks with adequate windbreaks with tree or bush shelter in the event of very heavy rainfall or likely flooding.
Prioritise your animals, giving shelter to the most vulnerable such as the ewes and lambs and those newly shorn.
The Bureau of Meteorology have issued a flood watch for low lying / flood susceptible areas on Tasmania's east coast, advising graziers that they should prepare to move stock in expectation of heavy rainfall. Visit the BOM website for more information: http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/watl/rainfall/pme.jsp
More information on caring for your sheep during cold weather can be found on the DPIPWE/Biosecurity Tasmania website: http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/animal-biosecurity/animal-welfare/hobby-farmers-and-smallholders/caring-for-sheep-in-cold-weather
(9/5/2018)Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;
A major effort is being undertaken to eradicate fruit fly from Tasmania.
(4/5/2018)Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;
Public comment is invited on a proposal to import the African Painted Dog into Tasmania. The Wildlife Management Branch received a resubmission of the African painted dog (Lycaon pictus) species profile for reconsideration to import into Tasmania. The new version clarifies and provides additional information in relation to the species risk and status. Included is a letter of support from the Zoo and Aquarium Association, confirming how the proposed collaboration of holding a small group of non-breeding animals will benefit the Population Management Program for this endangered species.
(14/3/2018)Categories: Invasive Species; Wildlife; Natural environment; Policy and Legislation; Livestock;
Fruit Fly Update 22 Feb 2018A suspension on produce imported from a Melbourne-based fruit and vegetable treatment facility will remain in place until Biosecurity Tasmania is satisfied that any identified concerns are addressed.Biosecurity Tasmania staff are working with their Victorian counterparts to investigate the process undertaken at the treatment facility.The facility is one of three major Melbourne-based facilities accredited for fruit fly treatment prior to export to Tasmanian markets.No concerns have been identified for produce coming through the other two facilities and this will continue to be available in supermarkets.Inspection is a routine part of Biosecurity Tasmania measures and surveillance of all fruit fly host produce has been increased during the current investigation.Imports from the supplier of the identified produce also have been suspended until fruit fly freedom can again be demonstrated or that produce has been appropriately treated for fruit fly.The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment is continuing discussions with its Federal counterparts as well as other States to identify any further actions that may be required.The Tasmanian community, including retailers, has been praised for its quick response to the suspension and recall of host produce.Reports of fruit fly can be made by contacting Biosecurity Tasmania on 6165 3774.
Further information about fruit fly can be found on the DPIPWE website dpipwe.tas.gov.au/fruitfly
(23/2/2018)Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Policy and Legislation;
Control, surveillance and eradication activities are continuing at and around three sites on Flinders Island and one site near Spreyton in north west Tasmania where fruit fly larvae were detected in apricots grown in backyard gardens last month.
At this stage no further larvae have been detected at sites outside the four already confirmed.
As part of surveillance operations, trap sites have been established around a 1.5km radius from the four sites where larvae were detected. These are in addition to already established surveillance traps used as part of Tasmania’s fruit fly free monitoring.
Since the original detection in January, monitoring of all the surveillance sites has identified a total of 18 adult fruit flies within the control areas that have been established around the sites on Flinders Island and near Spreyton.
This total consists of 1 male fruit fly previously detected near the Spreyton site, and yesterday two further male fruit flies were detected in surveillance traps inside the Control area.
On Flinders Island a total of 15 adult fruit flies have been detected since the original larvae detection on the island.
The detections of further adults does not change the response already in place within the control area at this stage.
An established surveillance, control and eradication program is in place within the control area that has been identified.
These detections highlight the importance of the response and measures in place. It gives Biosecurity Tasmania the information to know that while we are detecting adults we must continue to target these areas. Biosecurity Tasmania will be intensifying trapping around this site as part of ensuring that we do identify and eradicate any active fruit fly within these areas.
If any changes are required to the response measures in place industry and the community will be kept informed.
Fruit fly traps maintained as part of an ongoing Statewide surveillance program have not detected any adult flies outside the current control areas.
The importance of the work underway has been greatly supported by an incredibly vigilant industry and general community and we are encouraging everyone to continue to remain vigilant and assist in the work underway. The fruit fly report number is 6165 3774
We are continuing to work closely with Fruit Growers Tasmania as part of keeping industry informed and identifying how we can continue to support them.Further information about fruit fly can be found at www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/fruitfly
(7/2/2018)Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Policy and Legislation;