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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 10/2017 – Caring for sheep in extreme weather

Biosecurity Tasmania urges owners of sheep to be vigilant for any signs in their flock of cold stress brought about by the recent icy conditions. 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 b​ody 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.

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


(8/9/2017)
Categories: Livestock; Policy and Legislation; Pasture; Natural environment;


Biosecurity Advisory 8/2017 – free biosecurity planning workshop for cattle producers

The Livestock Biosecurity Network is hosting a free biosecurity planning workshop for cattle producers in conjunction with key partners and stakeholders.

The workshop provides hands-on training to producers about developing an on-farm biosecurity plan for their property.

Cattle Council of Australia and Sheepmeat Council of Australia have established the workshops to assist producers in the wake of two important changes which require producers to effectively manage biosecurity risks on-farm: The integration of biosecurity requirements into the Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program for cattle, sheep and goats; and a new national farm-based approach to Johne’s disease management in cattle using the voluntary risk management tool Johne’s Beef Assurance Score (J-BAS).

When: Thursday 7 September 2017 - 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Where: Tailrace Centre, 1 Waterfront Drive, Riverside, Launceston, TAS 7250

(18/8/2017)
Categories: Livestock;


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;

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