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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.

218 advisories found.

Biosecurity Advisory 29/2019 - Biosecurity Advisory Committee Announced

​The Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Guy Barnett, has announced appointments to the Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisory Committee.

The selection of the Committee followed a public expression of interest process and has been formed as an independent advisory body to the Government and Minister to help guide Government strategies and policy for biosecurity matters in Tasmania.

Members appointed to the Committee include industry leaders and experts across animal and plant agriculture, fisheries, science, environment, government, tourism and other representatives - drawn from across Tasmania.

Visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website for information on the Biosecurity Act 2019 and the Committee.​​​​

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 28/2019 - Acute bovine liver disease advice

​Acute bovine liver disease (ABLD), previously known as phytotoxic hepatitis, is a disease of beef and dairy cattle. Tasmanian livestock owners and veterinarians are being asked to be on the lookout for symptoms of ABLD in their herds, following a recent episode that is highly suspicious of ABLD on a property in northern Tasmania.

The signs of ABLD are variable. Affected cattle may be distressed, agitated, seek shade and develop sunburn on the muzzle and areas of pale skin, such as white faces, white patches, udder and vulva. Other signs may include fever, a drop in milk production and depression. Other species such as sheep and horses are not affected.

An annual grass known as rough dog's tail (Cynosurus echinatus) is often associated with cases of ABLD, however it is unknown whether the plant is directly involved or whether it is merely an 'indicator' of some other factor.

Because many cases of ABLD are associated with warm, moist weather in autumn or spring, a fungal toxin associated with rough dog's tail has been suggested as being a possible cause. To date a fungus species, Pyrenophora (previously known as Dreschlera), has been identified as a candidate however this is yet to be confirmed. There is no current evidence that the plant itself is toxic. State departments of agriculture and primary industry are currently studying cases in an attempt to identify the cause(s). 

There is no known cure for the condition. Although recovery is normally prolonged, early intervention by a veterinarian may assist with recovery by the use of medications such as anti-inflammatories, anti-histamines and zinc.
Paddocks may remain 'toxic' for variable lengths of time (hours to months) following an ABLD event. It is unknown whether 'toxic' paddocks will be 'toxic' in future years.

Management options include: (1) eating out the paddock with sheep to reduce the amount of dry standing material, (2) cultivation of high risk paddocks, (3) avoiding grazing cattle on paddocks with an abundance of dry material which have been spelled for extended periods of time, and (4) trying cattle again but with only a few animals at first to test for 'toxicity'.

Cattle should be frequently observed if grazed on 'at-risk' paddocks during 'danger' periods, particularly during autumn and spring. Cattle should be moved off the paddock immediately if any unusual signs are observed.

For further information on ABLD can be found on the Biosecurity Tasmania website, or contact your veterinary practitioner.

If you suspect a case of ABLD, contact your veterinary practitioner promptly.

Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation;

Biosecurity Advisory 27/2019 - Import Risk Analysis - Pigeons and Fertile Pigeon Eggs

​A draft Import Risk Analysis (IRA) on the importation of live pigeons and their fertile eggs has been prepared by Biosecurity Tasmania.

The draft IRA is now available for public comment until 5pm Friday 3 January 2020. Public consultation is a critical component of the IRA process.

Pigeon Paramyxovirus 1 (PPMV1), the disease for which current import conditions were enacted, was detected in Tasmania in 2013. Both Pigeon Paramyxovirus 1 (PPMV1) and Pigeon rotavirus may cause a significant impact to individual pigeon owners and pigeon events. Given that these diseases are present in Tasmania, and that pigeon races across Bass Strait have recommenced, these risks are considered best managed on a flock and event basis by implementing sound biosecurity measures and/or flock vaccination under the advice of a veterinarian.

Therefore the IRA proposes that the importation into Tasmania of pigeons and their fertile eggs be amended to reflect the same requirements that have been adopted for poultry and cage birds -  that is importation without restriction, except for the requirement that imported animals appear healthy on visual inspection and be under no current movement restrictions.

Information on the IRA and how to make a submission can be found on the Biosecurity Tasmania website:

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 26/2019 - Biosecurity Tasmania calling for volunteers to participate in National Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) Survey

Biosecurity Tasmania is calling for volunteers to participate in 2019-2020 National Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) ‘Adopt-a-Trap’ Survey.

Tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) (Bactericera cockerelli) is a plant pest of significant biosecurity concern. The TPP pest has also been shown to host the bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum which causes zebra chip disease in potato tubers.
First detected near Perth, Western Australia in February 2017, Tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) (Bactericera cockerelli) is a serious threat to potato, tomato and capsicum crops.
While Tasmania is currently free from TPP it’s important we remain vigilant.
The National “Adopt-a-Trap’ TPP Survey for 2019-2020 is starting soon and is an important  activity to check for and re-affirm that Tasmania remains free from this significant biosecurity pest.
Biosecurity Tasmania is looking for volunteers from across the state to host sticky traps on their properties during November/December 2019 and February/March 2020.  
Participants will be provided with instructions on how to manage the sticky traps and if you register early you will also receive a free tomato plant (a common host plant for TPP).

To register or for more information about the survey please visit 

Commercial producers of potatoes, tomatoes and/or other host produce are especially encouraged to participate in the survey.
This project is important to provide early detection and evidence of freedom from TPP in Tasmania and your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Plant diseases; Plant pests;

Biosecurity Advisory 25/2019 - Weeds Action Fund Projects Announced

​A total of thirty four projects have been successful in obtaining funding under the Tasmanian Government's Weeds Action Fund (WAF), 'Small Grants' program. 

Weed control activities and lost agricultural production are a substantial cost to Tasmanian farmers and the Government will work closely with Mr. Ian Sauer, Chair of the Tasmanian Weeds Action Fund, to reduce the serious impact and threat of weeds across our State.

Successful projects include actions targeting serious agricultural and environmental weeds such as Paterson's curse, horehound, gorse, Spanish heath, Besom heath, African boxthorn, orange hawkweed, Parramatta grass, serrated tussock, and Chilean needle grass. 

Several projects are also targeting weed threats to wetlands, off-shore islands, such as Maatsuyker Island and islands in the Furneaux group, and weeds threatening vegetation communities such as black gum.

These projects represent the first stage of the five year Weeds Action Fund and help to ensure that landowners and the community are able to tackle in an effective way significant agricultural and environmental weeds and to reduce the cost and impact of weeds.

The Tasmanian Government Weeds Action Fund (WAF) is a ground-breaking fund with a total budget of $5 million over five years to tackle weeds that are impacting on valuable agricultural and environmental assets.

The Government is currently developing Stage 2 of the Weeds Action Fund in which the majority of the Government's $5 million commitment will roll out over the next four years.

More information on the Weeds Action Fund can be found on the Biosecurity Tasmania website.

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 24/2019 - Public comments are invited on the proposed import of the Golden lion tamarin into Tasmania

​The Wildlife Management Branch of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment have received a submission for the Golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) species profile for consideration to import into Tasmania. 

Public comments are invited by 13 November 2019
Details of the species profile and risk assessment is available for viewing on the DPIPWE website at:  

Categories: Freshwater pests; Invasive Species; Natural environment; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife; Livestock; Gene technology;

Biosecurity Advisory 23/2019 - Important Update: Proposed Property Identification Code (PIC) Reforms - submission date extended

MPORTANT UPDATE: The closing date for submissions of public comments on the proposed property identification code (PIC) reforms has now been extended until Friday 15 November 2019. (See Biosecurity Advisory 22/2019 for more details). Please visit the website for more information:…/propertyidentificationrefor…

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 22/2019 - Proposed Property Identification Code (PIC) Reforms – Important Reminder

​The Commonwealth, States and Territories are currently reviewing traceability arrangements across animal, plant and food industry sectors. This work is examining opportunities to enhance traceability systems and arrangements to help Australia more effectively:

  • manage pest and disease outbreaks;
  • manage food safety, trade and market access requirements, and;
  • address consumer interest in product sustainability, ethics and provenance.
One critical component of Australia’s existing primary produce traceability system is the Property Identification Code, commonly known as a PIC.  A PIC is a unique code assigned to one or more properties or businesses that are involved with activity along the primary produce supply chain. 

PICs have been used in the livestock sector for many years as part of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).  In Tasmania, PICs are assigned by Biosecurity Tasmania following an application process. 
As one component of the broader traceability review, governments are currently examining PIC arrangements with a view to implement a national harmonised property identification system across our primary production sectors.  

These reforms are focused on improving the locational aspects of traceability, harmonising the business rules used to assign PICs and extending the benefits of PICs to other primary production sectors.  For example, the mandatory inclusion of the plant sector is new from a national perspective, although in Tasmania many properties engaged in plant production may already have PICs.

The need for PIC reform has been recognised and strongly supported by the many system participants involved in the recent discussions about Australia’s future traceability requirements.  Now you have an opportunity to provide input on these proposed important reforms.

For more information, and to have your say, please visit the Commonwealth Government Property ID reforms portal:

Please note that the opportunity for feedback closes on the 1 November 2019.

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

Biosecurity Advisory 21/2019 - Community urged to be vigilant and look for signs of Blueberry Rust

Community urged to be vigilant and look for signs of Blueberry Rust

With the spring growing season upon us, all Tasmanians who have blueberry plants are encouraged to remain vigilant for the signs of blueberry rust.
Although the disease is currently present in the State, a containment strategy is in place to help protect industry and reduce the risk of further movement of the disease. There are five commercial berry growers being actively managed under the containment strategy.

As part of the ongoing containment strategy, the Department is currently investigating the detection of a number of blueberry rust infected plants at a small number of Tasmanian retail nurseries. The infected plants were supplied to nurseries in the north, north-west and south of the state.

Biosecurity Tasmania has worked with the outlets to remove all blueberry plants from sale at these locations until further notice and is undertaking an ongoing investigation.
The outlets involved have been very proactive and supportive of the importance of this work. 

Our priority upon detection is to immediately manage the biosecurity risk and ensure appropriate measures are implemented to manage blueberry rust presence on site.
Our message to people is simple. If you have recently purchased blueberry plants and have concerns, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on (03) 6165 3777.
Biosecurity Tasmania Officers are available to come to your home and inspect the plants.  Suspect plants should not be disturbed or moved.

Blueberry rust is a disease of blueberries that causes extensive defoliation and may cause plant death in the case of severe infections.

The Government is investing in research into new treatments for blueberry rust, conducted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), with funding from the Agricultural Innovation Fund.

Further information about blueberry rust, including signs and symptoms, is available here:

Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Plant diseases; Plant pests;

Biosecurity Advisory 20/2019 - Biosecurity Advisory Committee – Chair and Members - Expressions of Interest close 5pm 7 October 2019

​A reminder that Expressions of Interest for the position of Chair and members of the new Biosecurity Advisory Committee (BAC) to be established under s267 of the Biosecurity Act 2019 (the Act) will close at 5pm Monday 7 October 2019.

The BAC will provide advice to the Minister and Secretary on any matter related to biosecurity, in particular:
  • the requirements of a comprehensive and effective biosecurity system for Tasmania, and necessary linkages to other biosecurity systems (national and international); 
  • opportunities to improve industry and community awareness of biosecurity;
  • opportunities to improve collaboration in achieving improved biosecurity outcomes including preparedness for biosecurity emergencies; and
  • any other biosecurity related matter referred to the Committee by the Minister or the Secretary.
The Committee will comprise a Chair and a membership comprising the following:
  • a representative of wild fisheries industries;
  • a person with relevant knowledge and experience in science, industry and community liaison and education;
  • a person with relevant accounting, economic or strategic planning expertise;
  • a person with public administration expertise at both the State and local government level;
  • a representative of animal-based agricultural industries;
  • a representative of plant-based agricultural industries;
  • a representative of aquaculture industries;
  • a representative of tourism industries;
  • a representative from environmental organisations;
  • a community member; and
  • a State Service employee.
Noting a member may satisfy more than one of the statutory membership criteria.

Those interested need to provide information that outlines their suitability for appointment to the role of Chair or member of the BAC.  Further information on the position of Chair and Member and on the selection process can be found at:​​

Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply, in accordance with the Tasmanian Government’s Women on Boards strategy, which aims to improve gender equity and increase female representation on its boards, statutory bodies and committees.

Expressions of Interest can be lodged at: EOI Biosecurity Advisory Committee, Biosecurity Tasmania – Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, GPO Box 44, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, or emailed to: by 5 pm, 7 October 2019.

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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