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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.


234 advisories found.
 

Biosecurity Advisory 15/2020 - Tasmania is Queensland fruit fly free – please help us keep it that way!

Biosecurity Tasmania is asking all Tasmanians to be vigilant for anything unusual in fruit with the spring and summer months being the peak times for fruit fly activity on mainland Australia and a time of increased risk for Tasmania.

While Biosecurity Tasmania has strict controls in place aimed at reducing the risk of fruit fly getting into Tasmania, we ask everybody to remain vigilant for any signs of fruit fly.​

Tell-tale signs of fruit fly include live larvae or eggs in the flesh of the fruit or small puncture marks on the skin of the fruit.  Fruit fly larvae look similar to blowfly maggots and could potentially be found in fruit that you purchased, or from fruit grown in your backyard.  

Queensland fruit flies lay eggs in a wide range of fruits and fruiting vegetables.  This list is a guide to potential fruit fly hosts.

Good biosecurity is a shared responsibility. Whilst Biosecurity Tasmania works closely with mainland states to help manage the fruit fly risk and there are increased resources and inspections taking place at the border for imported fruit fly host produce, the risk to Tasmania can never be zero.  Therefore industry, government and the community are encouraged to remain vigilant and work together to help protect Tasmania.

Anyone who notices any signs of fruit fly is asked to put the fruit in a sealed bag or container and place it in the refrigerator and contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777.  Please do not dispose of any fruit that has larvae you think might be fruit fly.

More information on Queensland fruit fly is at www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/fruitfly 

(21/10/2020)
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 14/2020 - Protecting your dog, yourself and your family from hydatids

During June and August 2020, three cattle were found to be infected with hydatids at slaughter in Tasmania. All individuals had been imported from mainland Australia, where it was suspected they contracted the infection.

In the 1960s, Tasmania had one of the highest rates of human infection of hydatids in the world. A ban on feeding internal organs (offal) to dogs was introduced. This action and the associated education campaign were successful, and in 1996 Tasmania was declared provisionally free of the disease.

Tasmania remains provisionally free from hydatid disease in dogs and sheep, however, this does not mean Tasmania has eradicated the disease. The hydatid tapeworm is present on mainland Australia in wildlife, feral and domestic animals.
 
Hydatid infections do not generally harm animals, but can cause serious, potentially fatal disease in people. 

Hydatid tapeworm eggs pass out in the faeces of infected dogs and can contaminate pasture. Grazing animals including sheep, goats, cattle and pigs consume these eggs which proceed to develop into cysts in their internal organs (‘offal’). The life cycle is complete when a dog becomes infected from consuming infected offal.

Therefore, ensuring dogs that may acquire hydatids on the mainland are treated properly prior to entry into Tasmania is very important, as they represent a particular risk for spreading hydatids in the State.  This worming treatment must contain praziquantel.  

You can protect your dog, yourself and your family from hydatids by adopting the following measures:
  • Not feeding raw, untreated offal to dogs.  
  • Helping to prevent scavenging through safe disposal of offal (e.g. deep burial with at least 1 metre soil cover, or incineration), muzzling dogs during hunting and stopping dogs from roaming. 
  • Worming dogs regularly, especially before they are used for hunting on someone else’s property.  For further information on worming, please contact your veterinarian.
  • Washing hands thoroughly after contact with dogs and handling livestock carcasses. 
More information on hydatids is available on the Biosecurity Tasmania website

If you suspect hydatid cysts in a carcass, please contact:  AnimalDisease.Enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au or phone 1800 675 888 and collect and submit samples to the Animal Health Laboratory. 

Testing is free. Information regarding sample submission can be found on the Animal Health Laboratory website​


(13/10/2020)
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 13/2020 - Importing plants and plant products into Tasmania

​The Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania (the Manual) is the key document that sets out information, conditions and requirements regulating the import of plants and plant products into Tasmania. 

The Manual contains extensive lists of plant species that are regulated for import under one or more Import Requirements (IRs). Where a species is listed, you must follow any specific import requirements relating to that species in the Manual, as well as any general requirements.

While the species listed in the Manual are extensive, the list is not exhaustive and there are many plants and plant products that are not included. This is often the case where a species has not previously been widely recognised, either commercially or by the community, for its ornamental or productive value.

A good example of this is the recent interest in growing and using native Australian plant species as a food source. 

Species like finger limes, quandongs, muntries, lemon myrtle, saltbush and Warrigal greens are now on the radar as native alternatives to the edible plants most people are familiar with.

While these species are native to Australia, they do not necessarily occur in all states and territories, and can carry unwanted pests and diseases or be a risk of becoming environmental weeds that could damage Tasmania’s environment and primary industries. 

If you want to import a plant or plant product that is not listed in the Manual, whether native or exotic, you should check with Biosecurity Tasmania first to ensure that any import requirements are met.

Visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website to access the current edition of the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania.

For more information, contact Biosecurity Tasmania via phone: 03 6165 3777, or email: Biosecurity.Tasmania@dpipwe.tas.gov.au​ 

(12/10/2020)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Timber imports; Seeds; Wildlife; Invasive Species; Livestock;


Biosecurity Advisory 12/2020 - Imported produce: Increased inspection regime to recommence

​From its inception in 2019, the Securing our Borders (SOB) initiative has allowed Biosecurity Tasmania (BT) to further boost frontline resources to help keep Tasmania free from economically significant pests and diseases not present in the State. Key benefits of this include the protection and support of the state’s primary industries and brand, and the maintenance of grower access to premium export markets.

A central component of the initiative was a substantial increase in the number of inspections being undertaken by BT staff on imported produce profiled as being at a high or medium risk of carrying pests such as fruit fly, tomato-potato psyllid (TPP), blueberry rust and grape phylloxera.  Additional BT staff numbers allowed a major increase in targeted daily inspections of imported produce across the state between the high-risk period of October 2019 and March 2020. 

During that period, a total of 4,147 individual inspections were undertaken at Approved Quarantine Places (AQP) across the state, involving the hand inspection of 1,868,975 individual pieces of produce.

Despite the operational challenges presented during the COVID-19 pandemic, BT has also continued to manage and inspect produce imports over the colder, lower-risk months. 

To manage the seasonal risk associated with warming weather, both in Tasmania and on the mainland, the SOB produce inspection regime, assisted by additional BT inspectors, has now recommenced for the 2020-2021 high risk season.  Increased inspections of produce recommenced on 1 October 2020 and will continue through to the end of March 2021.

Whilst inspections of imported produce form one component of a broader biosecurity system aimed at preventing pests such as fruit fly from entering Tasmania, we are asking everybody to remain vigilant over the coming spring and summer months.  If you see something suspect (such as insect larvae) in produce that you have bought from the supermarket, or grown in your backyard, please report it to BT on 03 6165 3777.

Importers or suppliers seeking further detail about SOB inspection procedures should contact Biosecurity Tasmania by phone on 03 6165 3777 or by email at: 

(2/10/2020)
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 11/2020 - Unsolicited seeds arriving in the mail

​Biosecurity Tasmania is aware of recent reports about people in Australia receiving unsolicited seed packets through the mail, from overseas. Similar unsolicited deliveries are being reported in the USA, UK and Canada.

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) has so far received 46 confirmed reports of the seeds arriving in Australia. 

The seeds have been sent from China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Taiwan. DAWE is currently working to identify the seeds.

It is important to remember that the seeds could be from an invasive plant species or bring in harmful plant pathogens that can cause disease and threaten our agriculture industries as well as our environment and way of life.

Situations like this are an important reminder that biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility and we need to do our part to safeguard Tasmania and the rest of Australia.

See it. Secure it. Report it

If you receive a parcel containing seeds you did not order, do not plant the seeds or throw them away. 

Please secure the seeds and immediately report them to Biosecurity Tasmania via phone: 03 6165 3777, or email Biosecurity.Tasmania@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

Reminder: If you are considering importing seeds into Tasmania, strict import conditions apply. Visit https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/plant-biosecurity/plant-biosecurity-manual for more information.


(31/8/2020)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 10/2020 – Avian influenza in poultry

​Agriculture Victoria is currently responding to an outbreak of avian influenza (AI) H7N7 at a free-range egg farm near Geelong.

AI is a highly contagious, viral disease of birds that can cause high mortalities in chickens. 

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 in birds

The H7N7 virus is not a risk to the public as it rarely affects humans unless there is direct and close contact with sick birds.  The Victorian outbreak is not the highly pathogenic influenza H5N1 or H1N1 strains that have gained worldwide attention — nor is it closely related to those strains. It is in no way related to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no current risk to Tasmania however, those who keep poultry are asked to be aware of the symptoms of AI and seek immediate veterinary advice if any of their birds become sick or die suddenly.  

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.

In addition, poultry owners are encouraged to adopt simple biosecurity measures to prevent wild birds from gaining access to and contaminating the food and water supply of their birds with droppings. This will help protect the birds from a range of diseases, not just AI. 

It is strongly recommended that drinking water supplied to birds should be either: 
  • 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.



(5/8/2020)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 9/2020 - Ehrlichiosis in dogs (Ehrlichia canis)

​Ehrlichiosis is a disease of dogs that occurs when a dog is bitten by a brown dog tick infected with the bacteria, Ehrlichia canis.

Infection with E. canis was confirmed for the first time in Australian dogs in May 2020, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and June 2020, in the Northern Territory.

E. canis occurs around the world, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions. This is the first time ehrlichiosis infection has been detected in dogs in Australia that had not been imported from overseas.

What does this mean for Tasmania?

The brown dog tick has not been found in Tasmania and therefore it is highly unlikely that there will be any transmission of E. canis in the State.  This is primarily a tropical and sub-tropical disease.

However Tasmanian dogs may become infected if they have travelled to the mainland and been bitten by an infected brown dog tick in 2019 or 2020.  The disease appearance and incubation period can be quite variable.

Biosecurity Tasmania will continue to monitor the situation in northern Australia. 

You should contact your private veterinarian if you have a dog that is unwell because early treatment provides the best chance for them to recover. 

Ehrlichiosis symptoms include:
  • fever
  • lethargy
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • loss of appetite
  • discharge from the eyes and nose
  • weight loss
  • anaemia and bleeding disorders such as nosebleeds or bleeding under the skin that looks like small spots, patches or bruising.
See it. Secure it. Report It.

Ehrlichiosis is a nationally notifiable disease. This means, if you suspect your dog is showing signs of the disease, you must report it. You can do this 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 confirmed test results.

Further information

Further information on Ehrlichiosis can be found on the Biosecurity Tasmania website

Additional information, together with updates on the infections detected in Western Australia and the Northern Territory can be found on the Outbreak website​.


(30/7/2020)
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 8/2020 - Draft Routine Import Risk Analysis for Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid (PSTVd) for comment - Update with correct link

Routine Import Risk Analysis for Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid (PSTVd)

Please note previous email contained incorrect link

This Import Risk Analysis (IRA) has been undertaken as part of Biosecurity Tasmania’s plant biosecurity risk analysis program, where it identifies and reviews pest risks that may present a threat to the State in association with the daily trade of goods, services and movement of people.
These IRA reporting processes are consistent with national and international guidelines.
This IRA provides a number of recommendations including whether or not an Import Requirement is considered necessary to manage biosecurity risk.

The draft report can be downloaded from here Import Risk Analysis for Public Consultation


Comments can be provided to Biosecurity.planthealth@dpipwe.tas.gov.au  by 27 August 2020

For further information please –contact us via email to Biosecurity.planthealth@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

(29/6/2020)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation;


Biosecurity Advisory 7/2020 – Expressions of Interest for Tasmanian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) Chair

​The Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC) is established under the Animal Welfare Act 1993. Its functions are set out under section 40 of the Act and include advising the Minister on animal welfare issues and considering any proposed changes to animal welfare legislation.  

Section 39 of the Animal Welfare Act 1993 outlines membership of the committee. Most of the members are representatives of organisations specified under the Act, however the Chairperson is independent.  All members are appointed by the Minister. 

The most recent AWAC Chair has resigned and expressions of interest are being sought to fill the position of Chairperson. Remuneration for this position is $10,000 pa. 

Members of AWAC, including the Chair, are appointed by the Minister for a maximum term of 3 years and may be reappointed. Meetings are held approximately quarterly or as required. 

Interested applicants should provide a statement that outlines their interest in and suitability for the position of Chairperson. 

Expressions of Interest should be addressed to: Fiona De Jersey, Executive Officer, Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, c/- Biosecurity Tasmania, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), GPO Box 44, Hobart Tasmania 7001 or emailed to: Fiona.DeJersey@dpipwe.tas.gov.au  by 5pm, Monday 13 July 2020.

For further information on the AWAC please refer to the Animal Welfare Act 1993 at www.thelaw.tas.gov.au or contact Kevin de Witte, Chief Veterinary Officer on 0408 869 446 or by email: Kevin.dewitte@dpipwe.tas.gov.au​


(26/6/2020)
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 6/2020 – Launch of Climate Research Grants Program

​The Tasmanian Government has launched a Climate Research Grants Program to support research that will improve our understanding of, and adaptation to, Tasmania’s future climate.

Climate research can support Tasmanian businesses, industry and the community to prepare for the risks and opportunities of a changing climate.

Individual grants of up to $50,000 are available towards climate change projects that support research, and/or the development of decision support tools, that align with one or more of these seven priority research areas:
  • Compound extreme events
  • Agriculture sector
  • Biosecurity and invasive pests
  • Tourism sector
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Aquaculture and wild fisheries
  • Tools for decision making
The Grants Program is open to organisations such as research institutes, Tasmanian peak organisations, businesses, and not-for-profit organisations.

Applications are now open and will close on 12 June 2020.

For further information visit: 
www.climatechange.tas.gov.au

(4/5/2020)
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;

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