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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 and for more information on the Farm Biosecurity Program’s six on-farm biosecurity essentials, visit

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.

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.

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:

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

For further information:

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

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

Biosecurity Advisory 2/2017 - Invasive Animals CRC national release of new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV1 K5) in Tasmania – 2017

Invasive Animals CRC national release of new strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV1 K5) in Tasmania – 2017

To combat the threat of rabbits within Australia, the national release of a Korean strain of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus, known as RHDV1 K5 will commence from the first week of March, 2017. Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus is also known as rabbit calicivirus.

The release of RHDV1 K5 comes after more than 10 years of testing through the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre RHD Boost project and includes participation by over 600 community groups and land managers across Australia, including ten sites in Tasmania.

Biosecurity Tasmania will administer the RHDV1 K5 bait to the Tasmanian site land managers under permit requirements.

The release sites in Tasmania are:


Barrington, Binalong Bay, Bridgenorth, Falmouth, Jackeys Marsh, Railton and Rowella.


Cambridge, Hobart and Port Arthur.

As part of the project, the public is being urged to get involved by helping to track the spread of the virus through downloading the RabbitScan (FeralScan) smart phone app, where you can easily report evidence of disease to assist land managers across Australia understand the movement of the virus.

To report sightings of rabbits or evidence of disease in your region visit or download via the iTunes or GooglePlay stores through searching for 'FeralScan'.

Visit the PestSmart website for more details on the national release of RHDV1 K5.

RHDV1 K5 only affects European rabbits and is a naturally occurring variant of RHDV1 from Korea.   RHDV1 K5 poses no risk to human health or other non-target species. However, domestic rabbits and farmed rabbits may be affected. It is recommended that domestic rabbit owners and commercial rabbit breeders consult their local veterinarian about vaccinations and provide additional protection against the virus by keeping rabbits inside or in insect-proof enclosures.

Later this year (likely to be between May and June 2017), Biosecurity Tasmania expect to undertake another release of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus if conditions are favourable for effective release.

For further information on Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania:  Northern Tasmania: 03 6421 7635 and Southern Tasmania: 03 6165 3265. 


PestSmart website:

Categories: Invasive Species; Livestock; Wildlife;

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