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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.


122 advisories found for Pasture.
 

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 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;


Biosecurity Advisory 5/2020 – Updated Permit to Allow Minor Use of an Unregistered AgVet Chemical Product for Control of European Wasps in Tasmania

​An updated permit has recently been issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for the control of European wasps (Vespula germanica) in Tasmania (Permit Number – PER89402).

The permit is valid until 31 March 2025.

In support of industry, DPIPWE continues as the permit holder, however the updated permit removes DPIPWE as the approved supplier and distributor of wasp baits.  The permit allows licenced Pest Control Operators, State Government and Local Government employees and primary producers (who are suitably qualified and are experienced in the application of agricultural chemicals), to control European wasps using meat based baits containing Fipronil.

Licenced pest controllers are automatically deemed suitably qualified and experienced in the application of agricultural chemicals to use the product under the permit.  

State and Local Government employees and primary producers will need to have successfully completed training in the use of agricultural chemicals.  The currently available training units are AHCCHM304 (Transport and Store Chemicals) and AHCCHM307 (Prepare and apply chemicals to control pest, weeds and diseases), or equivalent such as ChemCert.

Baits may be used within vineyards, horticultural crops, public parks and reserves, outside eating areas and residential areas.  The use of the baits in urban residential areas is restricted to licensed Pest Control Operators and State/Local Government employees trained for this use.

Some critical considerations regarding the permit conditions:
  • There are products registered to directly treat European wasp nests.  Baits may only be used when European ​wasp nests cannot be located or reached.
  • Pre-baiting with blank (untreated) baits must be performed before using Fipronil-treated baits.
  • Baiting with Fipronil can only be carried out if blank baits attract at least ten (10) European wasps in ten (10) minutes.
  • If native species are at risk, treated baits must not be used until a location can be found that precludes native species.​
The permit also contains additional important details regarding appropriate preparation and storage of baits (including permitted commercial Fipronil products and required dose rates), safety considerations for users, positioning and labelling of bait stations, requirements for completion of the baiting program, reporting adverse effects on any person or the environment and required record keeping.

NOTE - The continuation of this updated permit is subject to the outcomes of the current APVMA review of Fipronil.  Biosecurity Tasmania will provide updates on this as required.

For more information on European wasps and for a copy of the APVMA permit please visit:  https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/plant-biosecurity/pests-and-diseases/european-and-english-wasps

For more information on the appropriate use of agricultural chemicals and the relevant training opportunities please contact state.coordinator@dpipwe.tas.gov.au or call Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777.

(24/4/2020)
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 4/2020 -​ Amendments to Import Requirement 2 – Disinfestation with Methyl Bromide for fruit fly host produce

After the recent detection of fruit fly larvae in host produce at the Tasmanian border by biosecurity officers, Biosecurity Tasmania has made some amendments to Import Requirement 2 – Disinfestation with Methyl Bromide (IR2). 

These amendments were developed in partnership with Agriculture Victoria with the same changes being introduced into the Victorian Interstate Certification Assurance arrangement ICA-04 Fumigation with Methyl Bromide operational protocol. 

The amendments will take effect at 12:01am on Tuesday 10 March 2020.

The amendments include:
  • Pre-treatment inspections of ‘high risk’ commodities: mangoes, stone fruit and chillies;
  • Fumigation of high risk commodities in a separate fumigation chamber to any other fruit fly host produce; and
  • Administrative requirements to include the recording of fumigation chamber number against fumigated lots on certification.
Biosecurity Tasmania will only accept certification under ICA-04 protocols that align with the amended IR2 (effectively currently limited to Victorian accredited businesses).
You can find the amended IR2 on the DPIPWE website​. Please note that the version of IR2 contained in the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania (Edition 2020) PDF is therefore no longer valid as of 10 March 2020.

(6/3/2020)
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 3/2020 -​ Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in Australia

Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has been detected on the northern Queensland mainland and in the Torres Strait islands. 

Due to the pest’s reproductive capacity, ability to fly long distances and wide host range, combined with the remoteness and spread of known infestations, the national Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) has met and has made recommendations to the National Management Group it is not technically feasible to eradicate the pest.

Fall armyworm affects more than 350 host crops.  Many of these hosts are important cropping species (i.e. vegetables, fruit, and cereals) that are widely traded for retail food supply e.g. tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, rye and wheat.  

There are species of Spodoptera already present in Australia, which can look similar to fall armyworm.​

What is the risk for Tasmania? 

As a precautionary measure, Biosecurity Tasmania has declared fall armyworm a pest under the Plant Quarantine Act 1997. This means that in the event it is intercepted in traded plants or plant products at the border, regulatory intervention can be undertaken.

Fall armyworm is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas and is most likely found in warm, moist regions where it thrives.

The fall armyworm is not likely to thrive in the cool temperate Tasmanian climate and the current assessment is that it is unlikely to establish permanent populations here.

Due to the ability of the fall armyworm to fly long distances it may migrate into Tasmania from interstate in the future.  However, such migrations are likely to be seasonal and populations are likely to die back in the cooler seasons. 

Biosecurity Tasmania will identify any suspected fall armyworm specimens at no cost. Contact Biosecurity Tasmania 03 6165 3777.

Further information about fall armyworm is available on the Queensland Government website.​

(28/2/2020)
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 2/2020 - An important reminder regarding requirements for the importation of cattle into Tasmania.


Biosecurity Tasmania would like to remind importers that the following conditions exist in relation to the importation of cattle into Tasmania.

  • The shipment must be accompanied by a completed:
  • The cattle must be identified with a National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) identification device. 
  • The cattle must be inspected by the owner or person in charge within 7 days prior to movement to Tasmania, and be found free of signs of disease.
  • The cattle must not be known or suspected of being infected with, or exposed to a List A or List B disease (https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/animal-biosecurity/animal-health/notifiable-animal-diseases), other than Johne's Disease, within 42 days prior to movement to Tasmania commencing.  Please note - Enzootic Bovine Leucosis (EBL) remains a list B notifiable disease in Tasmania.
  • The herd of origin must not be subject to any animal movement restrictions, other than restrictions for Bovine Johne's Disease.
  • Cattle that are infected or suspected of being infected with Johne’s disease may be introduced into Tasmania providing the purchaser or recipient has been advised that the cattle are infected or suspected of being infected with Johne’s Disease.
  • The owner or person in charge of the animals in the exporting State or Territory must certify within 7 days prior to movement to Tasmania that, to the best of their knowledge, all the above conditions have been met. 
  • A Stock Inspector or Government Veterinary Officer in the state of origin must certify that after due enquiry, they have no reason to doubt the above 'owner declaration'. 
  • The importer must transfer NLIS numbers of these cattle on the NLIS database within seven (7) days of arrival in Tasmania.
Application to the Chief Veterinary Officer for a Special Authority to import cattle into Tasmania may be made for cattle not meeting the above requirements (please contact: AnimalDisease.Enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au​).
Further information regarding livestock importation to Tasmania is available at https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/biosecurity/importing-animals 

(17/1/2020)
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 1/2020 -​ Tasmania is Queensland fruit fly free – please help us keep it that way

Summer is the peak time 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 preventing fruit fly from getting into Tasmania, we ask everybody to remain vigilant for any signs of fruit fly.

Fruit fly larvae look similar to blowfly maggots and could be found in fruit that you bought from the supermarket or from fruit in your backyard.

Queensland fruit flies lay eggs in maturing and ripe fruit on trees and sometimes in fallen fruit. The maggots (larvae) hatch and the fruit is destroyed by the feeding maggots and by associated fruit decay. Queensland fruit flies can lay eggs in a wide range of fruit, fruiting vegetables and native fruiting plants.

Evidence of Queensland fruit fly activity is also sometimes observed as puncture marks (stings) in the skin of fruit. The stings are where the female fruit fly has laid her eggs.

If you see something suspect and are not sure, please report it to Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777.

Please do not dispose of any fruit that has larvae you think might be fruit fly.  Instead place the fruit in a plastic bag or plastic container and put it in your fridge until a Biosecurity Tasmania officer can collect it.

For more information on Queensland fruit fly visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website at: www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/fruitfly

(8/1/2020)
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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