Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Tasmania Online

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.


306 advisories found.
 

Biosecurity Advisory 21/2022 - Varroa mite detection in NSW - Biosecurity Tasmania urges beekeepers to increase vigilance

​Following the recent detection of varroa mites (Varroa destructor) in biosecurity surveillance hives at the Port of Newcastle in NSW, Biosecurity Tasmania (BT) is urging Tasmanian beekeepers to be on high alert for any signs of the pest within their hives.

NSW Department of Primary Industries have acted immediately to put in place eradication plans including the treatment of beehives within a 10 km emergency zone around the initial detection. Movement restrictions for European honey bees (Apis mellifera) are in place for the whole of NSW.

BT, with support from the Tasmanian industry, conducts regular surveillance for bee pests and diseases, including the varroa mite, on sentinel and guard hives maintained as part of the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program at Burnie, Devonport, Bell Bay and Hobart.

Restrictions on the import of bees, apiary products and used apiary equipment into Tasmania are already in place but are being reviewed in light of the varroa mite detection in NSW.​ BT has already put in place increased vigilance measures for bee equipment and bee related products entering Tasmania, and for increased surveillance activities for container and shipping movements from NSW, particularly from the Port of Newcastle. BT is also considering further steps to help reduce the risk to Tasmania.

BT is working very closely with Tasmanian beekeepers to ensure that they are kept up to date on the response taking place in NSW and have provided advice and support to registered beekeepers in raising their awareness of the disease, suggested hive inspection measures and actions necessary to report any suspected detections. BT has also provided advice to relevant shipping container depots at points of entry to ensure that staff remain vigilant and immediately report the presence of bees or nests on containers or vessels.

Varroa destructor is considered the greatest threat to Australia's honey and honey bee pollination plant industries. Varroa destructor is not established in Australia. Australia is one of the few counties in the world to remain free of varroa mite. Varroa mite can spread long distances on clothes, equipment, vehicles and through the transport of infected hives.

If varroa mite were to establish in Australia, European honey bees and the pollination services provided could be reduced by 90-100 per cent. This would result in a significant impact for apiarists, who would face higher costs to manage their hives and would impact on producers of crops such as almonds, apples and cherries that rely on pollination from European honey bees.

If you see anything unusual in your bee hives, or see any suspicious bee swarms near a port, immediately call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881 or contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 or email biosecurity.tasmania@nre.tas.gov.au.

Information about bee biosecurity, hive care, and photos that will help you identify varroa mite, are available on the Bee Aware website: beeaware.org.au.​

For more information on varroa mite please visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website: https://nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/animal-biosecurity/animal-health/bees/varroa-mite.​

(29/6/2022)
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 20/2022 - Public submissions invited on the Draft Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2022

​The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) invites public submissions on the Draft Animal Welfare Act Amendment Bill 2022 (the Draft Bill).

The Draft Bill has been developed in close consultation with the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, NRE Tas and the RSPCA. Key amendments within the Draft Bill seek to support and further strengthen the provisions under the Animal Welfare Act 1993 (the Act) for the enforcement and prosecution of animal welfare offences in Tasmania.

The Draft​ Bill is focussed on eleven important areas in the Act. The key amendment proposals include:

  • expanding the meaning of ‘disposal’ and consequential amendments
  • reversing the onus of proof so that an animal is assumed to belong to the person named as the owner in any animal welfare complaint unless proven otherwise
  • further clarifying Animal Ethics Committee approvals for animal research 
  • providing additional sentencing options for animal cruelty and aggravated cruelty
  • banning the use of pronged collars
  • expanding authorised officer powers of entry
  • expanding authorised officer powers to take possession of animals
  • providing magistrates with the power to order the seizure and immediate disposal of animals at risk
  • reducing the time for which animal carcasses are required to be kept
  • providing for the ability to require information from people who are interstate
  • providing for early cost recovery for care of seized animals.​

Submissions close at 5pm on 20 July 2022.

To view a copy of the Draft Bill, and to access background information to the proposed amendments, including instructions on how to make a submission, please visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website at:​ https://nre.tas.gov.au/awa​

(20/6/2022)
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 19/2022 - Consultation period on new aquaculture standards extended

​Consultation on the development of three new mandatory aquaculture standards to support sustainable aquaculture industries in Tasmania has been extended. 

The consultation period has been extended by four weeks and will now close on Monday 20 June to allow further time for interested stakeholders to provide feedback. 

The proposed new standards aim to provide a contemporary, best practice framework that ensures consistency and streamlining of regulation across all sectors, while also building on existing voluntary measures undertaken by the industry.  The standards will offer certainty and transparency to farmers, regulators, and the community alike. 

Progression of new standards is part of a continuous improvement process building on existing regulatory requirements for a sustainable industry and are an action arising from the Sustainable Industry Growth Plan for the Salmon Industry (2017). 

The standards are designed to enhance finfish farming biosecurity management, improve environmental regulation, and ensure statewide consistency of marine farming management controls across all aquaculture sectors. 

Once finalised, ongoing compliance with the standards will be monitored by NRE Tas and the independent Environment Protection Authority (EPA). 

For a copy of the proposed salmon biosecurity standards, proposed marine farming management controls, marine finfish environmental standard position paper, supporting documents, information on how to provide comment on the three areas of consultation, and for details on how the feedback will be used, please visit: www.nre.tas.gov.au/aquaculturestandards. 

Public consultation on the standards closes at 11.59pm AEST on 20 June 2022.

(19/5/2022)
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 18/2022 - Foot and mouth disease detected in Indonesia

​An outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was detected in cattle in Indonesia in early May 2022. 

FMD is considered one of Australia’s greatest biosecurity risks and is a highly contagious animal disease that affects cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. 

There is no threat to human health from FMD and is unrelated to human Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.

FMD has not been detected in Australia. The risk of an incursion remains low in the absence of close contact between animals or the importation of infected animal products.

We all have General Biosecurity Duty to report any suspected signs of exotic diseases in livestock. An early diagnosis is essential in managing and containing a possible outbreak. It’s best to be cautious with any potential signs of an exotic disease, and even if the diagnosis is found to be negative for FMD, the test results can only benefit the ongoing health and welfare of your livestock.

The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) is reviewing import permits for animal products from Indonesia that may carry FMD and have suspended those of concern. DAWE has also raised awareness at the border, particularly in northern Australia, and has provided advice to state and territory governments, and are liaising with Australia’s Indonesian counterparts.

If FMD was to enter Australia, there are detailed response plans and arrangements in place.  An FMD incursion would have severe consequences for Australia’s animal health and trade, including considerable economic losses with restrictions being placed on both domestic and international markets. 

Clinical signs of FMD include:
  • Cattle, pigs, sheep, buffalo, deer, camelids and goats may show fever, drooling and reluctance to move
  • Blisters on the mouth, snout, tongue, lips or between and above the hooves on the feet
  • Blisters may be intact or ruptured, exposing raw, painful tissue.
The free Emergency Animal Diseases Field Guide for Veterinarians has more specific information about FMD.

The FMD virus is carried by live cloven-hoofed animals and in meat and dairy products, as well as in soil, bones, untreated hides, vehicles and equipment used with these animals. It can survive in frozen, chilled and freeze-dried foods including meat and dairy products. 

Livestock producers must be alert for signs of disease in their animals. If animals are showing signs of illness that are consistent with FMD, this needs to be reported as a matter of urgency to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 or to their local veterinarian.

All livestock owners should have stringent biosecurity measures in place on their property, and it is essential that accurate records of livestock movement are maintained. Visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website for more information about livestock traceability and Property Identification Codes.

To access free farm biosecurity advice and resources visit farmbiosecurity.com.au

More information about FMD is available at: www.awe.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/pests-diseases-weeds/animal/fmd

(16/5/2022)
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 17/2022 - Feedback sought on a proposed traceability system for horses, donkeys and mules in Australia

The National Horse Traceability Working Group (NHTWG) is seeking feedback regarding the design and introduction of a traceability system for horses, donkeys and mules in Australia.

The NHTWG has agreed that the establishment of a base level traceability system as a starting point would best suit the needs of stakeholders and help ensure the industry can respond quickly to a biosecurity incident or emergency animal disease outbreak.

The NHTWG is proposing a National Horse Traceability System (NHTS) utilising the existing framework and incorporating incremental improvements, such as:   
  • Refreshing and maturing the Property Indentification Code (PIC) system, managed by states and territories.
  • Introducing uniform national PIC Business Rules.
  • Enabling enforcement of PIC legislation.
  • Requiring base level movement information to be recorded by all sectors of the horse industry.
All sectors of the horse industry are invited to provide feedback on the proposed Business Rules. 
The four-week consultation period closes on Wednesday 25 May 2022. 

(9/5/2022)
Categories: Cropping; Livestock; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 16/2022 - Lumpy skin disease detected in Indonesia

​Stay vigilant for signs of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in cattle or buffalo – a highly infectious skin disease not currently found in Australia, but is now at our doorstep with a recent detection in Indonesia in March 2022.

LSD is a poxvirus that affects ruminants such as cattle and buffalo. It can be spread by biting insects like mosquitoes, flies and potentially ticks, and through contaminated equipment or directly from animal to animal.

Symptoms of LSD include the appearance of raised skin nodules (50 mm diameter), scabs in the centre of the nodules which can fall off and leave large holes that can become infected, swelling in areas such as the limbs, brisket and genitals, an increase in nasal and salivary secretions, watery eyes, depression and fever.

LSD is not a risk to human health and cannot infect people.

An outbreak of LSD in Australia would result in serious animal health and welfare issues, as well as severely impact trade for our cattle and dairy industries. If LSD were detected in Tasmania, it could have a devastating impact on the export of related products – including dairy, hides, genetic materials and some meat products.

Australia has strict biosecurity protocols in place to help reduce the risk of exotic diseases such as LSD reaching our shores, but it is still important for us all to stay vigilant for any signs of LSD in cattle and buffalo in Australia. It would be very difficult and expensive to eradicate if it was found in Australia, which is why early detection is critical.

It is critical to report cases of animals displaying symptoms of LSD so any early cases are not missed. LSD can display similarities with other local/endemic diseases, therefore a correct diagnosis will rely on laboratory tests. LSD is also a nationally notifiable disease, meaning if you suspect an animal may have LSD, you must report it.

You can report any signs of LSD symptoms to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline (1800 675 888) or to your local veterinarian (who will also be able to report a detection after any confirmed test results).

Further information on LSD can be found at: https://www.awe.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/pests-diseases-weeds/animal/lumpy-skin-disease​.

(27/4/2022)
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 15/2022 – Risk Assessment for the import into Tasmania of Emperor Tamarin (Saguinus imperator).

The Natural Values Science Services Branch of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) has received a submission for the import into Tasmania of Emperor Tamarin (Saguinus imperator).

A risk assessment of the species has been undertaken by NRE Tas and public comments are invited by 21 April 2022. Please email any comments to: Wildlife.Reception@nre.tas.gov.au​​

(12/4/2022)
Categories: Invasive Species; Natural environment; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 14/2022 - Important Update Regarding Calicivirus in Tasmania

​Rabbit management requires an integrated 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 limit very high rabbit population numbers.

Biosecurity Tasmania provides advice on rabbit control and regulates the annual release of calicivirus (strain RHDV1-K5). This is because calicivirus is a biological control agent, and its effective use can be more complex than other control options.

Biosecurity Tasmania 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.

Update for 2022

As a consequence of the ongoing good growing conditions, 2022 is proving to be another challenging year for rabbit control.

There is currently an abundance of food available, especially green grass, resulting in ideal conditions for rabbits to breed, and meaning they are less likely to take calicivirus treated bait. Young rabbits (up to 12 weeks) 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.

Because of the current environmental conditions, calicivirus has not been released this year to date. However, officers will continue to assess areas for suitability.

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

Publication of release sites 

Details of the release sites in 2020 are still available on the Department website. There was no release of calicivirus in 2021.

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.

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://nre.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/invasive-animals/invasive-mammals/european-rabbits ​

(7/4/2022)
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 13/2022 - Have your Say on Draft Aquaculture Standards

​The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania invites you to have your say on the development of new draft aquaculture standards related to biosecurity, environmental management and marine farming operations.

The development of these new standards is a part of a continuous improvement process which builds on existing regulatory requirements and current voluntary measures undertaken by industry.  

We are asking that you have your say on:

  • ​DRAFT Biosecurity Regulations, DRAFT Biosecurity Program and Regulatory Impact Statement
  • DRAFT Standardised Marine Farming Management Controls; and
  • Position Paper – Introducing an Environmental Standard for Marine Finfish Farming. 
The draft standards are designed to enhance finfish farming biosecurity management, improve environmental regulation and ensure state-wide consistency of marine farming management controls across all aquaculture sectors. 

This work is an action arising from the Sustainable Industry Growth Plan for the Salmon Industry (2017).

To make a submission visit: www.nre.tas.gov.au/aquaculturestandards 

Submissions can be made until 20 May 2022 inclusive.



(6/4/2022)
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 12/2022 – Comments Invited on Draft Conditions for a compulsory Tasmanian beekeeper registration

Comments are invited on draft conditions for a compulsory beekeeper registration system in Tasmania.

As part of the implementation of the Biosecurity Act 2019, beekeeping will soon become a 'regulated dealing' (under Part 5, Division 3, Section 77). 

Under the Act a person must not engage in a regulated dealing unless they are 'registered'. 

This requirement will be formalised in new draft Biosecurity Regulations which are currently available for public comment.

Therefore, registration of beekeeping activities will become compulsory – for all Tasmanian commercial and recreational beekeepers. 

It is anticipated that the registration system will be introduced in the first half of 2022.

Preliminary targeted consultation on the proposed registration system took place in late 2021, and now public feedback on the proposed conditions of registration is invited.

To view a copy of the proposed registration system and for instructions on how to make a submission visit: https://nre.tas.gov.au/beekeeper-registrations​​

Submissions close at 5 pm on 10 May 2022.​

(29/3/2022)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Marine pests; Plant diseases; Pasture; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;

1 to 10 of 306 news items  Next >>