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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.


109 advisories found for Gene+technology.
 

Biosecurity Advisory 30/2021 - 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. 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, however 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 larvae in fruit 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.

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

(4/10/2021)
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 27/2021 - REMINDER: Have your say about the Tasmanian Primary Produce Traceability Strategy 2022-2027

REMINDER: You have until the close of business on Monday 20 September to have your say about the proposed Tasmanian Primary Produce Traceability Strategy 2022-2027.

Tasmanian Primary producers and other Tasmanian stakeholders are invited to have their say and inform the development of the Tasmanian Primary Produce Traceability Strategy 2022-2027.

Tasmania is renowned for producing safe, high quality agricultural products and food, for both the domestic and export markets. Traceability systems help to ensure both the integrity and safety of our produce.

The aim of the Strategy is to ensure that Tasmania's primary produce traceability programs are delivered in a strategic and integrated way, whilst complementing and strengthening inter-agency and national biosecurity arrangements and priorities for industry development and growth.

Your submissions are welcomed. Have your say by visiting the Biosecurity Tasmania website and downloading a copy of the Consultation Paper. Submissions must be received by COB Monday 20 September 2021.

www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/ppt

(16/9/2021)
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 25/2021 - Preparing the Tasmanian Primary Produce Traceability Strategy 2022-2027 – Have Your Say

Tasmanian Primary producers and other Tasmanian stakeholders are invited to provide input into the development of the Tasmanian Primary Produce Traceability Strategy 2022-2027.

Public submissions via the consultation paper are now open. 

All written submissions on this consultation paper must be received by 11:59 pm on 20 September 2021.

The aim of the Strategy is to ensure that Tasmania’s primary produce traceability programs are delivered in a strategic and integrated way, whilst complementing and strengthening interagency and national biosecurity arrangements and priorities for industry development and growth. The Strategy seeks to broaden the scope of Tasmanian traceability requirements, from primarily applying to meat production, to in the future encompassing a variety of agricultural industry sectors producing food and agricultural products.

Tasmania has a renowned reputation for producing safe, high quality agricultural products and food, for both the domestic and export markets. Traceability systems help to ensure both the integrity and safety of our produce.  To continue to build on our reputation, including maintaining and improving our competitive advantage in international markets, we need to continue to enhance our traceability systems to ensure our agricultural products are safe and attractive to all markets.

Enhancing traceability can improve:
  • Biosecurity management for a broader scope of Tasmanian primary produce;
  • Market access both domestically and internationally;
  • Supply chain information; and
  • Protection from counterfeiting and brand protection more generally. 
The Consultation Paper is the first consultation mechanism of many that will be used throughout the development of the Strategy and the subsequent legislative change processes. The submissions received as part of this initial consultation process will be collated and evaluated to inform the strategy development process.

All written submissions on this consultation paper must be received by 11:59 pm on 20 September 2021.

Visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website to download the Consultation Paper: Preparing the Tasmanian Primary Produce Traceability Strategy 2022-2027​

If you have any questions please contact the Product Integrity Branch, Biosecurity Tasmania by phone on 0418 361 085 or by email at product.integrity@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

(20/8/2021)
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 24/2021 – Risk Assessment for the import of a Binturong (Arctictis binturong) into Tasmania – public comments invited

​The Policy, Advice and Regulatory Services Branch of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) has received a submission for the import into Tasmania of Binturong ​(Arctictis binturong) (also known as the Bearcat).

A risk assessment of the species has been undertaken by DPIPWE and public comments are invited by 25 August 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 

(16/8/2021)
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 23/2021 - Imported produce and freight: 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 to March for both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021seasons. 

During the 2020-2021 season, and despite the operational challenges presented during the COVID-19 pandemic,  a total of 4,659 individual inspections were undertaken at Approved Quarantine Places (AQP) across the state, involving the hand inspection of 2,085,764 individual pieces of produce.  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 inspections, and freight, will soon be commencing for the 2021-2022 high risk season.  Increased inspections will recommence on 1 October 2021 and will continue through to the end of March 2022, however high rates of inspection will be maintained throughout the year. 

To support the increased inspection regime, BT has recently advertised for 20 part-time, fixed term Biosecurity Inspector roles spread across the North, North West and South of the state.  For more information about the positions and to apply, please visit: www.jobs.tas.gov.au ​

Whilst inspections of imported goods forms 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: Biosecurity.Tasmania@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

(13/8/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Natural environment; Policy and Legislation; Gene technology; Pasture; Plant pests;


Biosecurity Advisory 22/2021 – Responsible green waste management

The dumping of garden clippings and other green waste material into the environment poses the risk of introducing unwanted environmental weeds and diseases into our native bushlands and waterways. 

When you are maintaining your home garden or aquarium, the responsible management of green waste on your property will help prevent the spread and impact of weeds on Tasmania’s unique natural environment.
 
Common home garden plants often become environmental weeds through the illegal dumping of green waste - for example (but not limited to): Foxglove, Banana Passionfruit and Cape Ivy. Most of Australia’s water weed problems have resulted from the dumping of aquarium plants into waterways.

To help manage the risk, consider composting garden and aquarium green waste within your own contained composting system and reuse as fertiliser or mulch on your property. Good composting will destroy the reproductive capacity of many potential weed plants and return much of the nutrition they may have removed, back into your soil.  Alternatively, utilise council green waste bins and facilities, instead of resorting to discarding the waste illegally and damaging our environment.

Remember, we all have a General Biosecurity Duty to help protect Tasmania from pests, weeds and diseases. You can help meet your General Biosecurity Duty by taking measures to reduce the risk of your green waste impacting upon the environment.


More information about the General Biosecurity Duty can be found here: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/GBD​

(29/7/2021)
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 20/2021 – General information on carcass collection and appropriate disposal.

​Livestock, and other animal carcasses, left above ground may pose health, biosecurity and environmental risks, and Biosecurity Tasmania recommends that burial be undertaken as soon as practicable, and at the most appropriate site available.

It is important to ensure the burial of animal carcasses be undertaken:
  • In a reasonable timeframe after discovery of the carcass.
  • In a manner that prevents access by dogs and other animals.
  • To prevent the transmission of a number of animal diseases, including but not limited to: Hydatids, Sarcocystis and Botulism.
Proper carcass collection and disposal is required under Section 55 of the Animal Health Act 1995, which states:

“The owner of any premises must ensure that the carcass of any animal on or in the premises is buried, burned or otherwise suitably disposed of within a reasonable time after the carcass has been discovered".

In addition to livestock and other animals on agricultural properties, it is also important for hunters to ensure they meet the game hunting requirements and collection of species of game​ they shoot. This must be carried out to ensure that hunters can: 
  • Check for signs of humane killing/death. 
  • Work with the property owners to ensure Section 55 of the Animal Health Act 1995 has been adhered to.
More information on appropriate disposal of carcasses can be found on the DPIPWE website​.

(7/7/2021)
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 18/2021 – Dog owners urged to remain vigilant for signs of ehrlichiosis disease in their dogs

​Biosecurity Tasmania has recently gazetted an additional entry requirement for dogs coming to Tasmania. Dog owners will be required to declare that they have inspected their dogs, and that they are tick-free. The tick-free declaration is in addition to the existing import requirement to provide evidence of worming for hydatids when bringing dogs into Tasmania, unless exempted. 

Ehrlichiosis is a disease in dogs caused by the tick-borne bacteria Ehrlichia canis. The ‘brown dog tick’ (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) is the main carrier of this bacteria and has been identified in many regions of mainland Australia.

As this dog tick is not known to be present in Tasmania, this means there is a low risk of any transmission of E. canis in the State. However, with a warming climate and the potential spread of brown dog tick, the risk of infection from E. canis in Tasmania may increase. 

Dogs infected with E. canis were first confirmed in the Kimberley region of Western Australia in May 2020. Subsequent infections were identified in the Northern Territory in June 2020. Ehrlichiosis was previously considered exotic to Australia, however it is now well established in these regions. 

Surveillance work on mainland Australia continues, and it is expected that ehrlichiosis may spread to the known geographical range of the brown dog tick (as the main spreader of the disease).

Ehrlichiosis is a serious disease of dogs, however it can be successfully treated if diagnosed early. Contact your veterinarian if you believe your dog is showing any signs of the disease. These 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.​
Infected dogs do not transmit ehrlichiosis to people, however, in rare cases, infected ticks may infect people. Further information about ticks and human health precautions can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

It is important to have your dog on an effective tick control program (through consultation with your veterinarian) if you are in an area with ticks that may attach to dogs. Owners should take extra precautions if they are taking dogs into tick-infested areas on mainland Australia; and inspect your dog daily for ticks, especially if they have been in a tick-infested area.

More information can be found on the Biosecurity Tasmania website about the entry requirements for dogs to Tasmania, as well as E. canis infection and the brown dog tick.

(30/6/2021)
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 17/2021 - Calicivirus has not been released in 2021 because environmental conditions are not suitable.

​Rabbit management requires an integrated, collaborative 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 (BT) 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.

BT 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, calicivirus has not been released this year. It is unlikely that any releases will take place in 2021.

With this year’s high rainfall, there has been and still is an abundance of food available, especially grass, so conditions continue to be good for rabbits to breed. The ongoing abundance of food means that rabbits are less likely to take calicivirus treated bait.

We do not release calicivirus when there are rabbits under the age of 2 months. This is because young rabbits have a natural immunity to calicivirus, and if exposed to calicivirus at this age they retain this immunity for the remainder of their lives. Releasing calicivirus where there are young rabbits puts Tasmania at risk of a population of immune rabbits. 

BT will continue to monitor populations across the state, however calicivirus release has not occurred this year.

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

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?

It is important to remember that despite not being released this year, calicivirus is present in the Tasmanian environment.

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​

(1/6/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife; Timber imports;


Biosecurity Advisory 15/2021 – Fall Armyworm detected in Tasmania

​A single, adult fall armyworm (FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda) was recently detected (April 2021) in a surveillance trap near Wynyard in north-western Tasmania.  

FAW is an invasive tropical and subtropical pest native to the American tropics. It has rapidly spread across Australia following initial detections and establishment in the north of the country. It was first detected in far north Queensland in January 2020 and was subsequently detected in northern Western Australia and the Northern Territory before making its way south into New South Wales later in 2020 before being detected in Victoria during December 2020.

It would be possible for FAW to migrate to Tasmania from warmer areas during the warmer months due to its ability to disperse long distances on wind currents. However, due to its preference for warmer climates it is unlikely to thrive or establish permanent populations in the cool temperate Tasmanian climate. 

Biosecurity Tasmania (BT) are encouraging growers and members of the public to help detect FAW by submitting suspect specimens to Plant Diagnostic Services.  BT will identify suspected FAW specimens at no cost.

Visit the FAW webpage​ for further information including instructions on how to submit a sample.

(10/5/2021)
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;

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