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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 16/2018 – Caring for sheep and livestock in extreme weather - Animal welfare alert

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:

  • shallow breathing in order to reduce the rate of respiration (that is, rapid respiration or panting causes heat loss)
  • shivering
  • seeking shelter
  • huddling together

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:

More information on caring for your sheep during cold weather can be found on the DPIPWE/Biosecurity Tasmania website:​​

Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;

Biosecurity Advisory 15/2018 - Fruit Fly Update - 4 May 2018

​A major effort is being undertaken to eradicate fruit fly from Tasmania.

Included in this effort has been:
  • Approximately 2500 properties have cooperated with the fruit fly response
  • Spot baiting undertaken at approximately 1200 properties
  • Surveillance through checking of around 1000 permanent traps placed around the state
  • Checking of an additional 333 surveillance traps placed around infected sites
  • Approximately 4500 trap checks undertaken
  • Approximately 3300 larval surveys undertaken
This work would not have been possible without the support of the community and industry which has enabled access to properties for surveillance and eradication activities as well as reported possible signed of fruit fly for follow-up investigation.

Encouragingly, there have been no further detections of fruit fly either within or outside current control areas since the last update.    

On Flinders Island, no detections have been made at either Badger Corner or Trousers Point since January. At Lady Barron no detections have been made since March 21.

Within the northern control area no detections have been made at or near the Spreyton site since March 16.  At George Town no detections have been made since April 2. While at the other infected site, no detections have been made since February 14.

Although no further detections have been made, there is still further work to be undertaken to ensure these areas can be declared fruit fly free again and enable access to markets where restrictions are in place.

Agreement from the Commonwealth and trading partners is required to achieve the fruit fly freedom status. This means that Tasmania needs to maintain identified processes to give certainty to the Australian Government and our trading partners that we have eradicated fruit fly from the State.

While the cooler winter weather is believed to be a barrier to fruit fly establishment in Tasmania, this alone cannot be relied on to achieve eradication so it is necessary to continue with control measures over coming months.  

This means that we will need to maintain the current control areas on Flinders Island and in northern Tasmania for the coming months until agreement is reached with the Commonwealth and trading partners that they can be lifted.

The Government is continuing to work with the Australian Government to identify what measures and requirements continue to be needed and for how long to meet requirements for fruit fly freedom status being recognised.

The Department will continue to keep industry and the community informed of requirements and changes to requirements.

Mowbray update     

This site was not an outbreak but was investigated in line with established protocols for single fly detections. There have been no further fruit fly detections at Mowbray. Earlier this month, a single adult male Queensland fruit fly was detected at a residential property in Mowbray. Approximately 40 fruit fly traps have been established in the surrounding area and all fruit trees and other host plants have been inspected on more than 100 properties in the immediate vicinity.  Inspections consist of examining all fruit on trees for any evidence of infestation, plus taking a quantity of fruit from the tree and any fruit on the ground to be cut into small pieces to determine if any larvae are present. No further fruit flies have been detected. No evidence of larval infestation has been found. The traps will continue to be inspected for a period of nine (9) weeks after the initial detection.

Further information on fruit fly in Tasmania can be found on the DPIPWE website at:​

Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;

Biosecurity Advisory 12/2018 - Public comment invited on a proposal to import African painted dog into Tasmania

​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.

Public comments are invited by 27 March 2018
Details of the risk assessment is available for viewing on the DPIPWE website at:​

Categories: Invasive Species; Wildlife; Natural environment; Policy and Legislation; Livestock;

Biosecurity Advisory 10/2018 - Fruit fly Update - Fruit recall

​Fruit Fly Update 22 Feb 2018

A 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

Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Policy and Legislation;

Biosecurity Advisory 9/2018 - Queensland Fruit Fly Update

​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

Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Policy and Legislation;

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