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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.


138 advisories found for 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 19/2021 - Suspension of Recognition of Blueberry Rust (BBR) Area Free Status of Victoria

Suspension of Recognition of Blueberry Rust (BBR) Area Free status of Victoria

On 18 June 2021, Biosecurity Tasmania was informed that blueberry rust (BBR) (Thekopsora minima) had been detected at a premise in Victoria. As a precautionary measure, Tasmania suspended acknowledgement and acceptance of Victoria’s Area Freedom for BBR as of 18 June 2021 whilst the Victorian authorities undertake further investigations to determine the extent of BBR presence.

Any business, industry, or individual wishing to import any plants or plant products into Tasmania that act as a host or vector for BBR, can only do so if they comply with the conditions listed in Import Requirement 28 (IR28: Blueberry Rust – Hosts and Vectors) of the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania 2021

BBR hosts and vectors includes any plant or plant product of hosts, and vectors, specifically;
•    Fruit of Vaccinium spp.,
•    Plants of Vaccinium spp.,
•    BBR host plants other than Vaccinium spp. as listed in Schedule 1 of IR28 and,
•    Vectors such as agricultural equipment and used packaging that have been in contact with BBR or host plant or plant product.

BBR is declared as a List A pest for Tasmania under the Plant Quarantine Act 1997 (the Act). Currently BBR is the subject of an official containment program in Tasmania.

If you would like to read more information about blueberry rust and its management within Tasmania, please visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website.

(2/7/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Plant diseases; Plant pests;


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 16/2021 - Minor change to Import Requirement 5 (IR5) - Fruit Fly Host Produce - Hard Green or Similar Condition

Minor change to Import Requirement 5 (IR5) – Fruit Fly Host Produce – Hard Green or Similar Condition.

Import Requirement (IR) 5 in the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania is a fruit fly host produce IR allowing conditional entry to certain produce in a hard green (or similar) condition for several types of fruit, including 5 varieties of avocado.

Biosecurity Tasmania has had cause to consider whether avocados could also be imported into the State under the same  arrangements currently approved for bananas, and continue to satisfy the State’s ‘Appropriate Level of Protection (ALOP)’ that any such produce remain free from fruit fly infestation.

Bananas have been allowed to be imported into Tasmania under an additional entry condition outlined in IR5. This additional condition has allowed mature and green bananas to be artificially ripened in a properly constructed and operated ripening chamber immediately before shipment to Tasmania, if both the chamber and export pathway post ripening remained secure and free from fruit fly.

The proposal to consider a similar entry condition for avocado was assessed by the Tasmanian Plant Biosecurity Regulatory Working Group. It was determined that avocados arriving hard into, and via, an artificial ripening chamber can occur with very low or negligible risk. IR5 (Section 1 – avocados) has subsequently been reworded and updated to allow for artificial ripening of hard avocados immediately prior to import to Tasmania.

Occasional changes to Import Requirements are made outside of the annual process to facilitate harmonised interstate trading guidelines between jurisdictions, or to facilitate new trading initiatives proven to be safe in support of industry and/or importers alike.

The updated IR will be incorporated into the next edition of the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania.

This change came into effect from 12:00am, 17 May 2021.

The amended IR can be viewed at the following
https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/biosecurity/importing-plants/plant-and-plant-products-import-requirement-changes

(17/5/2021)
Categories: Horticulture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Cropping;


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;


Biosecurity Advisory 14/2021 - Revocation of Import Requirement 31(IR31) Hosts and Vectors - Citrus Canker (Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri Gabriel et al.)

Revocation of Import Requirement 31(IR31) Hosts and Vectors - Citrus Canker (Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri Gabriel et al.)

Citrus canker is a contagious plant disease that affects citrus plants including lemon, lime, mandarin, grapefruit as well as some native plant species.

In April 2018, citrus canker was detected in the Northern Territory (NT) and subsequently Western Australia (WA) in May 2018. Citrus canker had previously been declared eradicated from Australia in 2009 following an outbreak in Queensland.

Australia has once again been declared officially free from citrus canker with the lifting of remaining restricted areas in the NT from 12 April 2021, with restricted areas in WA lifted earlier.

As a result of this declaration, Tasmania has now revoked Import Requirement 31 (IR31) Hosts and Vectors - Citrus Canker (Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri Gabriel et al.) with effect from 19 April 2021.

The disease declaration has also been revoked from List A Diseases – Bacteria

For more information contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 or email: Biosecurity.Tasmania@dpipwe.tas.gov.au.

(26/4/2021)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation;


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;

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