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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.


261 advisories found.
 

Biosecurity Advisory 13/2021 - Check, Clean, and Dry your recreational equipment

Whether you are travelling to Tasmania from interstate, entering the state from overseas (such as New Zealand travellers), or moving from one area of Tasmania to another – making sure that you CHECK, CLEAN and DRY your recreational equipment is incredibly important in helping to protect the Tasmanian environment, economy, and primary industries from the harmful impacts of pests, weeds, and diseases.

Aquatic and terrestrial pests and diseases, and weed seeds can be easily spread by wet, unclean, and contaminated equipment. However, if you CHECK, CLEAN and DRY your equipment the risk of transporting these biosecurity threats can be minimised.  You will also have helped to meet your General Biosecurity Duty obligations.

Examples of equipment that might be carrying biosecurity threats include (but are not limited to):
  • Vehicles including 4x4s, motorbikes or quad bikes, and boats/jet skis
  • Water sport equipment – surfboards, water skis, kayaks, diving gear
  • 4x4 driving equipment and accessories
  • Fishing gear and equipment including fishing reels and waders (especially felt-soled waders – avoid using these if possible!)
  • Sporting equipment such as golf clubs and carts/caddies, and shoes with studs on the sole
  • Hiking gear including boots, backpacks, ropes, and clothing​
Tasmania has world-class wilderness and recreational areas that offer amazing adventure and sporting opportunities. So before embarking on your next Tasmanian adventure or before returning home, remember to CHECK, CLEAN and DRY your recreational equipment and be ready to present your equipment to one of our Biosecurity officers for inspection on arrival into Tasmania.

For more information, visit www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity, call 03 6165 3777, or email Biosecurity.Tasmania@dpipwe.tas.gov.au.

Get to know your General Biosecurity Duty. Visit the website​ to learn more about how you can meet your General Biosecurity Duty, and help protect Tasmania from biosecurity threats.


(16/4/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 12/2021 – Avian influenza in poultry

​Avian influenza (AI) is a highly contagious, viral disease of birds that can cause high levels of mortalities in chickens and other poultry such as turkeys and emus.

Following a response and eradication effort, Victoria’s commercial poultry flock is now free of (AI). As a result, in accordance with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Australia’s commercial poultry flock officially regained freedom from AI on 26 February 2021, 
 
AI however remains an ongoing biosecurity threat to Australia. Tasmanian poultry producers, and bird owners are encouraged to remain vigilant for any signs of the disease.

All commercial, domestic and wild bird species are susceptible to infection, but disease outbreaks occur more frequently in chickens and turkeys. Many species of wild birds, including waterfowl (geese, ducks and swans) and seabirds, can carry the AI virus but generally show no signs of the disease.  There are no treatments available for AI.

The clinical signs of AI can look similar to other poultry diseases. In general, the signs include breathing difficulties, watery eyes, bluish colouring in the comb, wattle or legs, swelling of the head, diarrhoea, nervous signs and rapid drop in water/feed intake and egg production. Bird deaths typically occur within 48 hours of infection, and sometimes less than 24 hours.

As a precautionary measure Biosecurity Tasmania encourages all bird owners to adopt simple biosecurity measures to prevent wild birds from gaining access and contaminating the food and water of poultry. AI viruses can be difficult to detect in wild birds, as they may not show signs, but can cause infections in domestic bird populations.

Feeding and watering stations should be kept in enclosed areas to limit access by wild birds. It is also strongly recommended that drinking water supplied to birds should be: 
  • treated (chlorinated) mains water, or;
  • high quality bore water, or;
  • water treated with chlorine from other sources.​
See it. Secure it. Report It.

Suspected cases of AI should be reported by calling the national Emergency Animal Disease Watch hotline on 1800 675 888.  This can also be done by your veterinarian who must report any suspicion or confirmed test results.

Further information

Further information on AI, including a biosecurity checklist for bird keepers, can be found on the Biosecurity Tasmania website

Further information on the AI response in Victoria can be found on the Outbreak website.

(8/4/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


​​Biosecurity Advisory 11/2021 – Hydatids reminder: raw, untreated offal must not be fed to dogs in Tasmania.

The feeding of raw, untreated offal to dogs is prohibited in Tasmania under the Animal Health Regulations 2016 and the June 2016 Tasmanian Gazette order​

Pet food products containing raw, untreated offal need to be appropriately labelled to advise purchasers that the product is not to be fed to dogs in its current state. 

Raw, untreated offal must be subjected to an approved treatment process as described in the Biosecurity Tasmania Hydatids webpage, before being fed to dogs. 

If raw, untreated offal is fed to dogs, it creates a risk for hydatid infection, posing a risk for the transmission of hydatids from infected dogs to humans. Hydatid infections in people have the potential to cause serious disease and can be fatal.

It is not practical nor feasible to test for hydatids in imported or locally produced livestock animals such as sheep, cattle and goats. Though livestock infected with hydatids might occasionally enter Tasmania, Biosecurity Tasmania implements a number of measures to minimise this risk to the State including:
  • regular public messaging about appropriate livestock carcass disposal
  • border entry worming requirements for incoming dogs
  • information on safe dog food preparation and worming of resident dogs
  • reminders to practice good hygiene when handling animals or carcases
  • reminders to control stray dogs
  • a free diagnostic service for lesions in offal to facilitate any local disease control measures.​
Tasmania was officially declared provisionally free of Echinococcus granulosus (the hydatid tapeworm in Australia) in dogs and sheep in 1996 and we are very fortunate to be in this situation. 

There are many ways to help keep Tasmania provisionally free of this disease, and to help protect you and your family. Your cooperation and vigilance will ensure this positive situation remains.

To help raise awareness of this disease, our hydatids poster is available for download and display.

(7/4/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 10/2021 – The General Biosecurity Duty comes into effect today (31 March 2021)

From today (31 March 2021) the General Biosecurity Duty, also referred to as the GBD, will come into effect.

Tasmania’s Biosecurity Act 2019 (the Act) places an emphasis on the importance of shared responsibilities and the need for Government, industry and the community to work together, in partnership, to maintain a strong biosecurity system. The GBD, which is described within the Act, simply means that everyone has a role to play in protecting primary industries and our unique environment from biosecurity risks.

This doesn’t mean that everyone has to be a biosecurity expert, however it is important to understand and manage, or minimise, to the best of our ability, the biosecurity risks that apply to industries, businesses, workplaces, our natural environment - and in our outdoor leisure and recreational activities.

For many industries, organisations, groups and individuals, their knowledge and understanding of biosecurity risks, and their preparedness to manage and respond to those risks, is already an integral and important part of their routine activities.

The GBD now formalises related practices and actions that we can all take to help protect Tasmania’s primary industries, economy, environment and our way of life from the harmful impacts of pests, weeds and diseases.   

Biosecurity Tasmania has developed a range of online resources, including stakeholder profiles and hypothetical examples, to assist everyone in gaining a greater understanding of the GBD, how simple and practical everyday actions can help everyone meet their GBD and to raise awareness of the importance for us all to work together to help protect Tasmania from pests, weeds and diseases.

For more information visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/GBD

(31/3/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 9/2021 – Important information regarding the 2021 release of calicivirus in Tasmania

​Rabbit management requires an integrated and strategic plan of action using a range of tools and techniques.

The most effective outcomes occur when management efforts look beyond property boundaries and involve a high degree of cooperation between affected landowners, community groups and other stakeholders. Landowners have primary responsibility for managing rabbits on their land.

Calicivirus is used as one option in a suite of available management options to avoid very high rabbit population numbers.

Biosecurity Tasmania provides advice on rabbit control and regulates the annual release of calicivirus. This is because calicivirus is a biological control agent, and its effective use can be more complex than other control options.

Biosecurity Tasmania officers assess properties in response to enquiries from landowners and determine the suitability for release of calicivirus or whether other control options may be more appropriate.

What is happening in 2021?

As a consequence of the good growing conditions, this year will be a challenging year for rabbit control.

With this summer’s high rainfall, there is currently an abundance of food available, especially grass, so conditions are good for rabbits to breed and they may be less likely to take calicivirus treated bait.

Biosecurity Tasmania will continue to undertake property assessments across the state, however calicivirus release may be very limited this year given the amount of alternative feed available.

No release sites for 2021 have been published at this stage

The release sites from last year (2020) are still available on the Department website.

If properties are assessed as suitable for calicivirus release, the areas will be listed on the Department website.  Individual properties are not publicly identified.

Calicivirus is typically released during the March to July period in areas where identified rabbit numbers are problematic.

What strain of calicivirus is used in Tasmania for rabbit control?

RHDV1-K5 is the only strain released by Biosecurity Tasmania.  RHDV1-K5 is a strain of the original RHDV1 virus, which was first released in Tasmania in 1997.

In 2016, a new variant of calicivirus, RHDV2, was detected in Tasmania.  Previously detected on the mainland, it is not known how RHDV2 arrived in Australia or Tasmania.  RHDV2 is not registered for use as a biological control agent and is NOT released by the Tasmanian Government.

How best to protect domestic rabbits?

Rabbit owners are encouraged to talk with their veterinarian regarding protection against caliciviruses. There is currently no approved vaccine available in Australia against RHDV2.

Strategies for protecting pet and farmed rabbits from caliciviruses, including important biosecurity measures, can be found on the Department website.

Where to go for more information?

Rabbit owners and landholders are encouraged to visit the Department website for more information on calicivirus and rabbit management:  https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/invasive-animals/invasive-mammals/european-rabbits

(3/3/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 8/2021 - Commencement of Amendments to the Cat Management Act 2009

The Tasmanian Government  is strengthening Tasmania’s cat management with important changes to the Cat Management Act 2009 coming into effect from today.

Key amendments commencing today:

• A cat that is being cared for at a cat management facility must be microchipped and desexed before being reclaimed from the facility. Exemptions to microchipping will apply where a vet certifies microchipping will affect the health and welfare of the cat; exemptions to desexing will apply to cats owned by registered breeders for the purpose of breeding or where a vet  certifies desexing will affect the health and welfare of the cat. The costs of microchipping, desexing and care of the cat at the facility are the responsibility of the owner of the cat.

• A person will be permitted to trap a cat on their private property, provided the trap is checked at least once within every 24-hour period after the trap is first set; and a trapped cat is either returned to its owner; or taken to a cat management facility or a nominee of a cat management facility, within 24 hours of being trapped. Arrangements should be made with cat management facilities before setting a trap.

• A person managing ‘primary production land’ or occupier of ‘production premises’ is permitted to humanely destroy a cat on ‘primary production land’ or at ‘production premises’. Persons undertaking lethal cat management action would need to comply with other relevant legislation, such as the Animal Welfare Act 1993 and the Firearms Act 1996.

The amendments deliver on recommendations  for legislative change identified in the Tasmanian Cat Management Plan 2017-2022 which is Tasmania’s first comprehensive plan addressing management of domestic, stray and feral cats.

The amendments are the result of extensive consultation with industry, local government, animal welfare groups, environmental and agriculture stakeholders through the Tasmanian Cat Management Reference Group, and public feedback directly on the amendments and other processes.

Further changes will be rolled out over the next 12 months to give people time to adjust to the new requirements.

Key amendments commencing in March 2022:

• Cats over the age of four months must be microchipped and desexed.
• A person must not keep more than four cats, over the age of four months, on their property without a multiple cat permit.
• The State Government will no longer be registering cat breeders. Anyone wishing to breed a cat in Tasmania will be required to be a member of a cat organisation or will have the option of applying for a conditional permit to breed a cat.
• The option of a Care Agreement on the sale of a cat will be removed.

For more information on the amendments to the Cat Management Act 2009 and the Tasmanian Cat Management Plan go to https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/cat-management-in-tasmania/

(1/3/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife; Timber imports; Seeds; Plant pests; Plant diseases; Marine pests; Gene technology; Freshwater pests;


Biosecurity Advisory 7/2021 - Introducing the General Biosecurity Duty from 31 March 2021

Following extensive industry and community consultation, the Biosecurity Act 2019 (the Act) introduces a new legal obligation in Tasmania known as the General Biosecurity Duty, or GBD.

The General Biosecurity Duty is expected to come into effect on 31 March 2021.

The Act emphasises the importance of shared responsibilities and the need for government, industry and the community to work together to maintain a strong biosecurity system.

The GBD will operate as a statutory “duty of care” for everyone (government, industry and the community) in respect to biosecurity.

This will mean that all Tasmanians will have a duty to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, eliminate, or minimise biosecurity risks when dealing with any biological matter or carrier, if they ought to know that there may be a biosecurity risk.  The GBD also applies to visitors to Tasmania and to individuals and businesses who import biological material or equipment into Tasmania.

This does not mean that you need to be a biosecurity expert, however you do need to know about the biosecurity risks that apply to your specific industry, business, work environment or pastimes - and how to manage and minimise those risks to the best of your ability.  For many biosecurity stakeholders, the introduction of the GBD will not change the way they go about their daily business or recreational activities.

The GBD reinforces that everyone has a role to play in protecting our unique environment and primary industries against biosecurity risks.

Understanding and meeting your GBD responsibilities will help protect your business, our primary industries, the environment and our way of life here in Tasmania.

Biosecurity Tasmania has developed a range of helpful resources to assist you to understand the GBD, to identify your GBD responsibilities to help keep Tasmania biosecurity safe.

You can find more information on the website: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/GBD

We all have a General Biosecurity Duty to help protect Tasmania from pests, weeds and diseases.

(25/2/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 6/2021 – National Feral Pig Action Plan (NFPAP) released for public consultation

The National Feral Pig Action Plan Steering Group is seeking public comment on the National Feral Pig Action Plan (the Plan).

The Plan has been developed in response to the significant threat that feral pig populations impose on Australia’s environmental, agricultural, cultural and social assets.  This is the first time that a national action plan has been developed for feral pigs in Australia, following significant input and feedback from a range of stakeholders.

Feedback from Tasmanian stakeholders is being encouraged to help contribute to feral pig management nationally.

The draft Plan and a summary document are available for downloading at:  https://feralpigs.com.au/the-plan/​ 

Feedback on the plan can be submitted to: planfeedback@feralpigs.com.au 

The public consultation period will be open until 5:00pm AEDT Friday 26th February 2021.

Comments provided will be incorporated, as appropriate, in the development of a final draft of the Plan that will be submitted to the National Environment and Invasives Committee by late March 2021. 



(16/2/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 5/2021 - Public comments are invited by DPIPWE Wildlife Management Branch on the import of snow leopard into Tasmania.

The Wildlife Management Branch of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) have received a submission for the import of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) into Tasmania.

A risk assessment of the species has been undertaken by DPIPWE and public comments are invited by 18 February 2021.

Details of the species profile and risk assessment is available for viewing on the DPIPWE website at: https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/management-of-wildlife/wildlife-imports/species-risk-assessments-for-comment.​​​​

(12/2/2021)
Categories: Wildlife; Policy and Legislation; Gene technology; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Marine pests; Pasture; Cropping; Freshwater pests; Horticulture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Seeds; Timber imports;


Biosecurity Advisory 4/2021 - Community urged to be vigilant for signs of blueberry rust

Biosecurity Tasmania is currently investigating a detection of blueberry rust (BBR) on a small commercial blueberry farm in the north of the State.

Biosecurity Tasmania officers are currently conducting further surveys on the property and a Direction notice has been issued to restrict the movement of fruit and plant material, equipment, staff and visitors.  Biosecurity Tasmania has also commenced the necessary tracing investigations.

This detection is an important reminder of the importance of ongoing blueberry rust vigilance.

Have you noticed any suspect looking blueberries you have picked or purchased?  Have you checked your blueberry plants at home for signs of blueberry rust?

Look for signs of brown-rust coloured lesions on the top and yellow-orange pustules on bottom sides of leaves.   Yellow-orange pustules may also appear on the mature fruit.

If you think you may have blueberry rust, please call Biosecurity Tasmania immediately on 03 6165 3777.

Suspect looking fruit should be secured in a zip lock bag, and placed in the refrigerator before calling Biosecurity Tasmania to report the find.

If you do suspect blueberry rust in your plants at home, please do not disturb or move the plants – Biosecurity Tasmania officers will come to you. Care should also be taken to ensure that any clothes or equipment do not become contaminated.

Throughout the berry season all Tasmanians are encouraged to remain vigilant for any signs of plant pests and diseases.

Good biosecurity is a shared responsibility and we all have an important role to play in helping to protect our industries, environment and way-of-life from the impacts of pests, weeds and diseases.

Further information about blueberry rust, including signs and symptoms, is available on the Biosecurity Tasmania website: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/blueberryrust

(5/2/2021)
Categories: Horticulture; Invasive Species; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Cropping; Natural environment;

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