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Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisories

Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania

Latest Advisories

Subscribing to get Biosecurity Tasmania 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.


363 advisories found.
 

Biosecurity Advisory 24/2023 - Biosecurity Act 2019 and release of the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania 2023 edition

​In a significant milestone, Biosecurity Tasmania is now working wholly under the Biosecurity Act 2019. This legislation is one of the most significant reforms of Tasmania’s primary industry and environmental laws in decades and will replace seven out-dated Acts with one modern fit-for-purpose piece of legislation.

The existing legislation will be repealed in coming weeks following an Executive Council meeting.

The Biosecurity Act (The Act)​ retains many of the elements of our existing biosecurity system, but in a modernised and consolidated form. The Act is the outcome of more than four years of consultation involving a broad array of stakeholders, who have engaged with the Government to assist in its formulation. 

The Act provides a simpler and more effective legal framework for the management of pests, diseases and invasive species, imports of plant and animal products, biosecurity emergencies. Other key features include:

  • ​Improved ability for Biosecurity Tasmania to manage biosecurity issues "pre-border" to help keep the risk "offshore" This is a critical development which will allow us to better manage biosecurity risks of concern – such as Queensland fruit fly;
  • A General Biosecurity Duty (or GBD), which imposes a statutory duty of care on all persons to properly manage biosecurity risks when dealing with any animals, plants or related products. This important provision emphasises the importance of shared responsibilities in maintaining a robust biosecurity system;
  • Criminal penalties that are more appropriate for the nature and gravity of biosecurity offences, and better aligned with penalties for biosecurity offences in other States.  These changes provide a significant disincentive to those who attempt to work around our biosecurity regulations; and,
  • The ability for detailed biosecurity measures to be tailor-made for managing specific issues, activities or impacts, and implemented via subordinate regulations and statutory programs.  This improved flexibility provides the platform to effectively manage biosecurity risks now and into the future.

Biosecurity Tasmania also advises that the 2023 edition of the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania (the Manual) is now available. This edition is particularly important as it is the first edition of the Manual under the Biosecurity Act 2019. It is important for the reader take note of the new conditions governing the Manual as summarised in Part 1 of the Manual, in terms of plant biosecurity regulatory control, reach and application.

A new 3 tier pest categorisation system applies for plant pests (and diseases) of Prohibited, Declared or Restricted Pests (see Section 1.8 of the Manual), with current lists held in Appendix 1.1 & 1.2 of the Manual.

It is anticipated that the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania​ will be updated at least quarterly.

For more information on the Biosecurity Act 2019 please visit the website: www.nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/biosecu​rity-act-2019


(10/5/2023)
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 23/2023 - Second small hive beetle detected in Devonport

A second small hive beetle has been detected in East Devonport, within 1.4km of the initial detection in early March. This detection does not indicate that small hive beetle is established in Tasmania.

Both specimens were found as part of Biosecurity Tasmania’s extensive monitoring program – this is an example of our world class biosecurity system working. Since the initial detection in early March, Biosecurity Tasmania has taken swift and decisive action, working alongside beekeepers, industry and the community to undertake thousands of beehive and trap inspections.  

As a result of this detection, the current 10km Bee Movement Restriction Area will remain in place until further notice – map can be seen here Bee Movement Restriction Area interactive map.​

While Biosecurity Tasmania will continue investigations, checking beehives and setting traps, with this detection, the response will now focus more on wild and unregistered beehives. It is now more vital than ever for all Tasmanian beekeepers to register because registration is one of our most powerful tools to protect against pests and diseases that threaten our bee population. 

It is illegal to own beehives and be unregistered in Tasmania – fines do apply. However, a permanent amnesty applies for anyone registering beehives – you will not be fined for registering your hives. Registration is free, for more information or to register visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/beekeeper-registration

If you are in the 10km Bee Movement Restriction Area and would like to open your beehives for feeding, honey harvest, removal of supers or winter pack down, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 6165 3777 to arrange a permit. Honey produced in Tasmania can be brought into the Bee Movement Restriction Area to be filtered and processed. 

If you are outside the 10km area, restrictions no longer apply, meaning beehives can be opened and moved.  

For more information on small hive beetle, please visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/SHB 

Biosecurity Tasmania would like to acknowledge the exceptional level of cooperation from beekeepers, industry and the community during this emergency response. ​

(3/5/2023)
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 22/2023 - Small hive beetle restrictions easing while inspections continue

With no more small hive beetles found since the detection of a single beetle in the Devonport area during March, Biosecurity Tasmania is implementing a staged process to ease restrictions. Thanks to the success of the response to date, effective from Friday 21 April the following restrictions will be lifted:
  • The Bee Movement Restriction Area will be reduced from 15km to 10km around the original detection site. 
  • Honey produced in Tasmania can be brought into the Bee Movement Restriction Area to be filtered and processed. 
Movement restrictions remain in place for beekeepers within the new 10km Bee Movement Restriction Area and Biosecurity Tasmania will continue inspections and trapping activities. The new Bee Movement Restriction Area is available on the Bee Movement Restriction Area interactive map

If you are in the 10km Bee Movement Restriction Area and need to open beehives for animal welfare reasons, please call Biosecurity Tasmania on 6165 3777. 

Provided no more beetles are detected, further restrictions will be lifted in coming weeks. 

If you are in the 10km – 15km area, restrictions no longer apply, meaning beehives can be opened and moved.  However, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 6165 3777 to arrange for protective tape and traps to be removed from your hives. 

Biosecurity Tasmania would like to acknowledge the exceptional level of cooperation from beekeepers, industry and the community during this emergency response. 

It is vital that every beekeeper across the state is registered, because registration is one of our most powerful tools to protect against pests and diseases that threaten our bee population. Registration is free. For more information or to register, visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/beekeeper-registration
 
For more information on small hive beetle, please visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/SHB or call 6165 3777.


(20/4/2023)
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;
Attachment: Bee Movement Restriction Area.pdf


Biosecurity Advisory 21/2023 – Important update regarding release of Calicivirus in Tasmania

​Rabbits are an introduced species that thrives in Tasmanian conditions. Left unchecked, rabbit populations can rapidly increase, outcompeting native wildlife for food and habitat, and their excessive grazing habits often lead to soil erosion, reduced water quality and can degrade landscapes over time.

Calicivirus is one of the most humane and effective methods of controlling wild rabbit populations – protecting native wildlife and Tasmania’s unique environment. The control of wild rabbits requires an integrated and strategic plan of action using a range of management options.

Whilst landowners have primary responsibility for managing rabbits on their land, the most effective outcomes are achieved when management involves a high degree of cooperation between affected landowners, community groups and other stakeholders. 

Biosecurity Tasmania provides advice on wild rabbit control and regulates the annual release of calicivirus (strain RHDV1-K5). The release must be regulated as calicivirus is a biological control agent and its effective use is more complex than other control options. Under certain conditions, the release of calicivirus is one technique that can be used to limit very high rabbit population numbers.

In response to enquiries from landowners, Biosecurity Tasmania officers assess properties and determine the suitability for release of calicivirus or whether other control options may be more appropriate.


Update for 2023
Due to continuing rainfall and good growing conditions across the state, 2023 is proving to be another challenging year for rabbit control with calicivirus. 

There is currently an abundance of food available, especially green grass, meaning rabbits are less likely to take calicivirus treated bait. These conditions are also ideal for rabbits to breed. Generally, only rabbits older than 12 weeks are susceptible to calicivirus. Young rabbits may develop immunity from calicivirus if exposed. Release of calicivirus in the presence of large number of young rabbits therefore increases the risk of developing calicivirus immunity within rabbit populations.

There are reports of some wild rabbit populations currently being impacted by myxomatosis and RHDV2 (a different type  of calicivirus of unknown origin that has naturalised in the environment).

Trained biosecurity staff continue to monitor conditions and assess suitability for releasing calicivirus. Currently, very specific locations around the state have been identified as suitable, allowing for a very limited release of calicivirus.

For the list of current identified locations for the limited release of calicivirus, visit the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) website: Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (Rabbit Calicivirus) – a biocontrol for wild rabbit populations | Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (nre.tas.gov.au)

The NRE Tas website page above will be updated if any further sites are identified for release of calicivirus in Tasmania in 2023. 



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?​
Rabbit owners are encouraged to talk with their veterinarian regarding protection against caliciviruses and other rabbit diseases present in the environment, such as myxomatosis. There is currently no approved vaccine available in Australia to protect against RHDV2 or myxomatosis.

Strategies for protecting pet and farmed rabbits from viruses, including important biosecurity measures, can be found on the Department website.

For more information on calicivirus and rabbit management, please visit: https://nre.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/invasive-animals/invasive-mammals/european-rabbits 


(20/4/2023)
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 20/2023 - No small hive beetles detected as inspections continue

​Since the detection of a single small hive beetle in the Devonport area at the start of March, Biosecurity Tasmania has worked closely with recreational and commercial beekeepers to inspect hundreds of beehives and traps around the detection site and found no more small hive beetles. 

The response to calls for all beekeepers across the state to register has also been excellent, with Biosecurity Tasmania currently inspecting newly registered beehives and setting new traps across the 15km Bee Movement Restriction Area. 

Thanks to the success of the response to date, Biosecurity Tasmania will implement a staged process to ease restrictions across the Bee Movement Restriction Area around the detection site.

The moratorium placed by Biosecurity Tasmania on 12 March until 14 April has now been extended until 21 April. Provided no more small hive beetles are detected, the following restrictions will be lifted:

  • ​​​​Bee Movement Restriction Area reduced from 15km to 10km around the detection site; and
  • Honey can be brought into the Bee Movement Restriction Area to be filtered and processed to a minimum 2mm. 
​Beehives within the 10km Bee Movement restriction Area are still subject to movement restrictions. 

Inspections and trapping will continue within the 10km Bee Movement Restriction Area, and provided no more beetles are detected, further restrictions will be lifted as Biosecurity Tasmania becomes confident that we are free from small hive beetle. 

Biosecurity Tasmania would like to acknowledge that the success of the response to date is thanks to the exceptional level of cooperation with beekeepers, industry and the community from day one. 

It is vital that every beekeeper across the state is registered, because registration is one of our most powerful tools to protect against pests and diseases that threaten our bee population. Registration is free, for more information or to register visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/beekeeper-registration.

For more information, please visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/SHB or call 6165 3777.

We need your help to identify unregistered beehives

If you know of beehives within the Restriction Area which are either not registered or not taped with Biosecurity tape as shown in attached picture, please report this to Biosecurity Tasmania immediately on 6165 3777 or biosecurity.tasmania@nre.tas.gov.au 

To determine if you are in the Restriction Area, please visit: Bee Movement Restriction Area interactive map.  


(14/4/2023)
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;
Attachment: Biosecurity taped hive.jpg


Biosecurity Advisory 19/2023 – Travelling or returning to Tasmania? Remember the Biosecurity Basics

​If you are travelling this school holidays, it's important to make sure you know what you can and cannot bring to Tasmania to help keep our state biosecurity safe – Biosecurity Basics protect Tasmania!

Tasmania has a strict biosecurity system in place to help protect our environment, primary industries, and way of life from the negative impacts of pests and diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease. If you are travelling to Tasmania, you have an important role to play in helping to protect the state.

When travelling to Tasmania remember to check your bags for any restricted items such as such as fresh fruits and vegetables, some animals and animal products, fish products, or plant and plant materials and to come in clean by making sure to thoroughly clean your clothes, gear and equipment before travelling to Tasmania.

Finally, remember while you are in Tasmania to be on the lookout for any potential biosecurity risks and if you do see anything that might pose a risk to Tasmania to report anything unusual by contacting Biosecurity Tasmania on (03) 6165 3777 or emailing biosecurity.tasmania@nre.tas.gov.au.

You can find out more about foot-and-mouth disease at www.nre.tas.gov.au/FMD or to learn about the biosecurity basics visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/biosecuritybasics

(6/4/2023)
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 18/2023 - Biosecurity Tasmania assisting in management of Potato Virus Y Necrotic Strain in Tasmanian crops


The Potato virus Y necrotic strain (PVYNTN) has been detected in several potato crops (Maranca variety) along Tasmania’s east coast and in the Northern Midlands.

This virus causes tuber necrotic ringspot disease, which can result in unsightly rings on the tubers and can result in potatoes being rejected due to poor quality. The virus is spread by aphids, planting infected tubers and through contact with plant sap from cut or damaged foliage and tuber tissue.

While PVYNTN cannot be eradicated, it can be managed. PVYNTN was detected in Tasmania in 2021 in a small crop of Kipfler potatoes around Cressy. Although the source was unknown, it was effectively managed by interstate export and the destruction of tubers and spraying of regrowth potatoes in post-harvest paddocks, however it is suspected the virus is now present in low levels in the Tasmanian environment.

Biosecurity Tasmania is currently working with industry participants to manage this latest detection and requires those affected to:
•    grade out, contain and dispose of any tubers with PVYNTN symptoms, including remaining seed, from the source seed lot;
•    sanitise machinery and equipment to avoid contamination of other harvested product; and
•    manage the destruction of regrowth potatoes at the affected sites.

Any tubers showing symptoms of the virus will be graded out and disposed of by deep burial or cooking. Regrowth potatoes will be destroyed, and machinery disinfected.

Initial laboratory testing of the current detection took place in mid-March 2023; however, some crops showed signs of disease prior to this. Further testing of Maranca and other varieties will continue over the coming season.

Industry participants are encouraged to inspect their potato crops and report any signs of disease to Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 or email PlantDiagnosticServices@nre.tas.gov.au

(5/4/2023)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Plant diseases; Plant pests;


Biosecurity Advisory 17/2023 - We need your help to protect Tasmania from Small Hive Beetle

Moratorium to be extended 31 March to 14 April

Following the detection of a single small hive beetle in a Biosecurity Tasmania managed guard hive in the Devonport area, Tasmania's Chief Plant Protection Officer declared a General Biosecurity Direction, establishing a 15km Bee Movement Restriction Area around the detection site. 

To date, no more small hive beetles have been found. However, Biosecurity Tasmania are only able to inspect and install traps in the hives they are aware of, which is why Biosecurity Tasmania is asking beekeepers and the public to help locate unregistered hives within the Devonport area to ensure they are checked as soon as possible. While Biosecurity Tasmania has acted quickly and decisively, establishing an Incident Management Team and undertaking extensive hive inspections and trapping activities across the Restriction Area, recent reports indicate that there are unregistered hives in the area, of which the Team is not aware. 

Unregistered hives pose a risk of harbouring small hive beetle if they remain unchecked. This could have a serious long-term effect on the Tasmanian bee population and the honey and pollination sectors. For this reason, the moratorium on opening, moving and harvesting from hives, and the movement of beekeeping equipment, will be extended from 31 March to 14 April. This will provide additional time for us to ensure we have found and checked ALL hives in the area.

It is vital that all beekeepers, commercial and recreational, register their hives now. There is no cost to register, and registration will remain free until at least 31 March 2025. For more information or to register, visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/beekeeper-​registration. Significant penalties may apply for failing to register before Friday 31 March 2023. 

If you are within the Restriction Area and have not been visited by our apiary inspectors, please call 6165 3777. 

We need your help to identify unregistered hives

If you know of unregistered hives within the Restriction Area or notice hives that are not taped with biosecurity tape, please report this to Biosecurity Tasmania immediately on 6165 3777 or biosecurity.tasmania@nre.tas.gov.au​

To determine if you are in the 15km Restriction Area, please visit: Bee Movement Restriction Area interactive map​

(29/3/2023)
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 16/2023 - Small Hive Beetle Update – no new detections

​No more Small Hive Beetles have been found since the detection of a single beetle in a Tasmanian Government managed guard hive located in the Devonport area earlier this month. 

However, Biosecurity Tasmania’s apiary inspectors continue to visit properties with beehives within the Restriction Area and installing surveillance traps for small hive beetle.

Following the detection of a single small hive beetle in a Tasmanian Government-managed guard hive in the Devonport area, Tasmania's Chief Plant Protection Officer declared a General Biosecurity Direction, establishing a 15 km Bee Movement Restriction Area around the detection site. This precautionary measure restricts the movement of bees, bee products and used beekeeping equipment within the Restriction Area and will help ensure potential small hive beetles in the area do not spread – protecting Tasmania’s bee population and our honey and pollination sectors.
 
Biosecurity Tasmania’s apiary inspectors continue to visit properties with beehives within the Restriction Area and installing surveillance traps for small hive beetle. This will provide Biosecurity Tasmania with the opportunity to inspect hives and determine if small hive beetle is present in the region. To determine if you are in the 15 km Restriction Area, please visit: Bee Movement Restriction Area interactive map​.  If you are a beekeeper within the Restriction Area and have not been visited by our apiary inspectors, please call 6165 3777. 

It is vitally important that all beekeepers within the 15 km Restriction Area avoid opening hives, harvesting honey and honeycomb, and movement of bees and beekeeping equipment until 31 March, in line with the moratorium declared by Biosecurity Tasmania. For more information, please visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/SHB.

This is an excellent opportunity to remind beekeepers across Tasmania that registration is now compulsory – it is also one of the most powerful tools we have to identify, manage and limit the spread of pests and diseases like small hive beetle. There is no cost to register, and registration will remain free until at least 31 March 2025, for more information or to register visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/beekeeper-registration​

(23/3/2023)
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 15/2023 - Small Hive Beetle Update

​Biosecurity Tasmania continues to investigate the detection of a single small hive beetle (SHB) in a guard hive located in the Devonport area.

This detection does not mean that SHB is established in Tasmania. At this point there has been no additional detections. 

Tasmania's Chief Plant Protection Officer, Andrew Bishop, has declared a General Biosecurity Direction, which establishes a 15km Bee Movement Restriction Area around the detection site. This restricts the movement of bees and bee products within, into and out of the zone. 

On 12 March, Biosecurity Tasmania placed a moratorium on the opening of hives, harvest of honey and honeycomb, and movement of beekeeping equipment for any beekeepers that are in the 15km Bee Movement Restriction Area as declared in the General Biosecurity Direction. Initially, the moratorium will be in place until 31 March 2023. All beekeepers within the 15km Bee Movement Restriction Area are asked to avoid opening hives during this period.

You can use this interactive map to find out if your apiary or any other property where hives are kept is within the Restricted Area: Bee Movement Restriction Area interactive map.​

Our apiary inspectors have been visiting properties with beehives within the Bee Movement Restriction Area and installing surveillance traps for small hive beetle. If you are within the Restriction Area and have not been visited by our apiary inspectors, please call 6165 3777 to arrange a visit. 

Registration, which is one of our best tools for managing and stopping the spread of pests and diseases, is compulsory for all current Tasmanian commercial and recreational beekeepers. There is no cost to register, and registration will remain free until at least 31 March 2025. For more information or to register visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/beekeeper-registration.

Biosecurity Tasmania acknowledges and appreciates the significant contribution to the response from affected beekeepers, key stakeholders, industry representatives and the community. 


(21/3/2023)
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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