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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.


206 advisories found for Gene+technology.
 

Biosecurity Advisory 14/2024 - Australia-wide shortage of rabbit biological control agent

​Calicivirus (or Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease) is a biological control agent used to manage wild European rabbit populations. It is transmitted by insects and by direct contact between infected rabbits. Calicivirus is used operationally by Biosecurity Tasmania to help manage wild rabbit populations, with calicivirus releases usually occurring during Autumn when environmental conditions are favourable to the effective use of the virus. Use of the virus is restricted to trained NRE Tas staff, and it is most effective when used in conjunction with other rabbit control methods.

Although environmental conditions are currently suitable for the use of calicivirus, there is an ongoing Australia-wide shortage. The only laboratory able to manufacture calicivirus in Australia is experiencing supply issues and is unable to produce enough virus for jurisdictions across Australia. This supply challenge, coupled with a short shelf life, means Tasmania currently does not have calicivirus for use and a release cannot occur. Tasmania is currently on a list with other jurisdictions waiting for the supply of calicivirus.

This means it is likely that Biosecurity Tasmania will not be able to release calicivirus in Tasmania until the beginning of 2025, when environmental conditions may once again be favourable.

Landowners are responsible for the control of rabbits on their land and there are a variety of control options that landowners can use depending on individual property factors. Landowners can get advice about control techniques from licensed pest controllers and at: https://nre.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/invasive-animals/invasive-mammals/european-rabbits.   

Landowners are encouraged to report rabbit deaths to support our data collection and planning, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 or email invasivespecies@nre.tas.gov.au

One of the alternative methods of rabbit control is the use of Pindone, which is a poison specifically designed for rabbits. Pindone is only suitable for appropriate properties and provides short term benefits. More information can be found at https://nre.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/invasive-animals/invasive-mammals/european-rabbits/pindone or by contacting Game Services Tasmania on 1300 292 292.

A naturally occurring strain of calicivirus exists in Tasmania (as does myxomatosis) and you may notice rabbits dying suddenly as a result. You can support the spread of biological control agents by leaving infected rabbit carcasses where they died and report the details to Biosecurity Tasmania as soon as possible on (03) 6165 3777 or invasivespecies@nre.tas.gov.au.  ​

(10/5/2024)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 13/ 2024 - Small hive beetle response a success

​Effective from 22 April 2024, Tasmania’s small hive beetle response activities have ceased. Thanks to the success of the response, the previously declared General Biosecurity Direction (small hive beetle) and the associated Bee Movement Restriction Area (BMRA) have now been revoked.

Following the detection of small hive beetle in the East Devonport area in March 2023, Biosecurity Tasmania responded quickly, working alongside beekeepers, industry and the community to protect the health of Tasmania’s bee population as well as our honey and pollination sectors. 

Extensive surveillance activities, including thousands of beehive and trap inspections, have been ongoing within the BMRA. Biosecurity Tasmania concluded the final round of inspections in March 2024.
 
Biosecurity Tasmania sincerely acknowledges the cooperation from beekeepers, industry and the community during this emergency response.

Small hive beetle is a European honeybee pest that is present in all Australian states except the Northern Territory and Tasmania. All Tasmanian beekeepers are asked to remain vigilant for any signs or pests or disease, and report anything unusual to Biosecurity Tasmania on (03) 6165 3777.

For more information visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/SHB
​​


(22/4/2024)
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;


Tasmanian Biosecurity Advisory 12/2024 - Restrictions on importing aquatic ‘moss balls’ into Tasmania

‘Marimo’ or ‘moss balls’ (Aegagropila linnaei Kützing) are an aquatic plant usually sold through the aquarium trade as a novelty item for fish tanks or display freshwater ponds.

Moss balls are listed as a prohibited item for import into Tasmania. They can be invasive and present a significant biosecurity threat if they were to establish in Tasmania’s natural freshwater lagoons and highland lake and river ecosystems.  

Particularly concerning is the potential that this organism can carry other very harmful, invasive organisms like didymo (Didymosphenia geminata)​. Also known as rock snot, didymo is also a prohibited import item in Tasmania. 

If you are involved in the aquarium industry as a trader, breeder, retail outlet or hobbyist, you have an important role in preventing the introduction and spread of marine pests in Tasmanian waters. 

Here are some important things to remember about being a responsible aquarium supplies provider or aquarium owner:
  • Check that you are not importing or bringing back into Tasmania prohibited plant or animal species.
  • Never release aquarium fish into any waterways.
  • Do not dispose of aquarium tank water or sick fish into stormwater or street drains.
  • Ensure outdoor fishponds cannot overflow into creeks or into storm water drains.
  • Seek advice on keeping a healthy aquarium and if you suspect a serious disease, contact your veterinarian or Biosecurity Tasmania.
We all have a general biosecurity duty to protect Tasmanian from the adverse impacts of pests, weeds and diseases.
If you are aware of anyone selling ‘marimo’ or ‘moss balls’ in an aquarium shop or who has them already in a fish tank or freshwater pond, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania immediately.

Call Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 or email biosecurity.tasmania@nre.tas.gov.au 

(19/4/2024)
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 11/2024 - Report European paper wasp sightings

​Do you know the difference between regular European Wasps & European paper wasps?

They look similar but there are a few key differences, especially their size and antennae colour. European paper wasps are about 1.5-2.5 cm long, yellow and black in colour with orange antennae. They are thinner than European wasps, with slightly different yellow and black markings.

In areas where they become established, European paper wasps can become a public nuisance because of the intensity of their painful sting. They also have potential environmental impacts by feeding on native insects and competing with native species for nectar.

In contrast to European w​​asps, which have been established in Tasmania for over 60 years, European paper wasps are a Declared Pest under the Biosecurity Act 2019. Biosecurity Tasmania has recently identified and removed two paper wasp nests in Devonport and Latrobe. Further paper wasp detections in the area suggest there may be one or more nests that have not yet been located. Biosecurity Tasmania would like to hear from any residents who think they may have seen a nest or other signs of European paper wasp activity. ​

WARNING: European paper wasps sting. Do not disturb nests or provoke wasps in any way.

Learn more about European paper wasps at www.nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/plant-biosecurity/pests-and-diseases/european-paper-wasp, and contact Biosecurity Tasmania to report signs of European paper wasp at biosecurity.tasmania@nre.tas.gov.au or call (03) 6165 3777.​

(17/4/2024)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Natural environment; Plant pests; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 09/2024 - Seasonal Biosecurity Compliance Reports

​Biosecurity Tasmania has commenced publishing seasonal compliance activities undertaken by Authorised Officers, in accordance with several pieces of legislation covering Tasmania's biosecurity system.

The Seasonal Compliance Reporting provides a summary of key compliance actions undertaken by Biosecurity Tasmania based on the Compliance and Enforcement Framework.  There are numerous other compliance activities undertaken including education and support activities to encourage voluntary compliance, responses to complaints and a range of other audits and inspections which are not captured in these reports.

Areas covered by biosecurity legislation include plant biosecurity, animal biosecurity and welfare, invasive species (including cat management) and product integrity (including food safety, agricultural and veterinary chemical use and traceability).

Biosecurity Tasmania applies a graduated and proportionate approach to the application of compliance and enforcement actions, that include:

  • Educational outcomes
  • Cautionary outcomes
  • Application of sanctions such as suspension or cancellation of permits or approvals
  • Biosecurity Detection Notices (BDNs)
  • Prescribed Infringement Notices (PIN)
  • Prosecutions

Several factors are considered when determining the appropriate response ranging from the nature, impact, intent and severity of the allegation to evidence of criminality for more serious offences. This ensures the most proportionate and consistent compliance or enforcement response is taken in any incident.

The recently published Spring 2023 compliance reporting can be viewed on the Biosecurity Tasmania website at www.nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/bios​ecurity/seasonal-biosecurity-compliance-report.

The reports will be published quarterly and will be made available on this webpage.​

(26/2/2024)
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 07/2024 - Amendment of Import Requirement 2 for Mangoes

​Biosecurity Tasmania wishes to advise of changes to Import Requirement 2: Fruit Fly Host Produce - Disinfestation with Methyl Bromide, in the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania.

Biosecurity Tasmania has revoked the use of methyl bromide as a treatment option for Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni) (QFF) in mangoes. This amendment to Import Requirement 2 is effective from 21 February 2024 for all mango varieties.

The same amendment for plums (all varieties) will come into effect from 22 March 2024.

These changes will further strengthen and protect Tasmania's QFF Pest Free Area.

Alternative pathways for importing mangoes and plums are available in the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss importation options, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania's Market Access team on: (03) 6478 4138 or biosecurity.marketaccess@nre.tas.gov.au

(21/2/2024)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Natural environment; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation;


Biosecurity Advisory 05/24 - Tasmania is fruit fly free, help us keep it that way!

​Spring and summer are the peak seasons for fruit fly activity on mainland Australia, meaning it is also a time of increased risk for Tasmania.  That's why Biosecurity Tasmania is asking all Tasmanians to be on the lookout for anything unusual they may find in fruit.

Biosecurity Tasmania has strict import requirements and ongoing statewide surveillance in place, all aimed at reducing the risk of fruit fly getting into Tasmania.

Tell-tale signs of fruit fly to look out for include live larvae or eggs in the flesh of fruit or small puncture marks on the skin of fruit.  Fruit fly larvae look similar to blowfly maggots and could be found in fruit that you have purchased, or from fruit grown in your backyard.  

Fruit flies lay eggs in a wide range of fruits and fruiting vegetables.

Good biosecurity is a shared responsibility. Biosecurity Tasmania works closely with mainland states to help manage fruit fly risks and over the spring and summer months there are increased inspections of imported fruit fly host produce at the Tasmanian border. However, while the risk to Tasmania can be lowered it can unfortunately never be reduced to zero. This is why it's takes all of us, industry, government and the community, to keep Tasmanian fruit fly free. We all need to remain vigilant and work together to help protect Tasmania.

Anyone who notices any larvae in fruit is asked to put the fruit in a sealed bag or container and place it in the refrigerator and contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777. Please DO NOT dispose of any fruit that has larvae in it.

More information on fruit fly is at www.nre.tas.gov.au/fruitfly

(2/2/2024)
Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation;


Biosecurity Advisory 49/2023 - Biosecurity Basics help protect Tasmania

With the arrival of summer, Biosecurity Tasmania is urging visitors, and all Tasmanians, to be extra vigilant for potential biosecurity risks they may bring with them on the journey to Tasmania and to remember the Biosecurity BasicsCome in Clean, Check your Bags, Stay on the Path, and Report anything Unusual! 

A forgotten piece of fruit in your luggage, mud caked on vehicles and equipment, clothing or footwear and recreational equipment that has not been checked and cleaned, can potentially have a serious impact on Tasmania’s primary industries, environment, and our way of life.

The Biosecurity Basics are simple, yet practical actions we can ALL take to help protect Tasmania from the negative impacts of pests, weeds and diseases. 

Check your Bags is an important Biosecurity Basic action. You may not even realise that you are bringing a biosecurity restricted item into the state when you visit or return home. Take a few extra minutes when preparing to travel to Tasmania to ensure you are not bringing fruit and vegetables, some animal and seafood products as well as plants, soil and seeds. 

Many pests can hitchhike their way into Tasmania inside an item in your luggage. For example, the larvae of the tiny but dangerous fruit fly may be lurking in an uneaten apple. Dispose of these items or declare them on arrival. Your actions can help Tasmania remain fruit fly free.

The same applies to buying items online or receiving gifts from friends and family overseas. Be sure to Check your Parcels if ordering goods online. Also let your family and friends know about what they can and can’t send to you in Tasmania​.

Come in Clean is another simple Biosecurity Basic that can help prevent the introduction and spread of harmful pests and diseases.  Mud on your vehicle, caravan or trailer could contain harmful weed seeds or other pathogens. Just as a single drop of water left inside the waders you used while angling in New Zealand could contain didymo. Also known as “rock snot”, didymo is a freshwater algae found in many rivers and streams in NZ and has caused serious damage to our neighbours’ river ecosystems, fish and the pleasures of fly fishing.

If you have visited rural areas or been around farm animals in Indonesia/Bali, you may have come in contact with soil or other organic matter that could contain the foot-and-mouth disease virus. Cleaning your clothing, footwear and any gear (or even leaving some items behind) before you return to Australia is vital to ensuring that our country remains free from this serious animal disease.  

We all have role to play in helping to keep Tasmania free from the many biosecurity threats that are present in other Australian states and territories, and across the globe. We all have a general biosecurity duty​​ to take the necessary actions to protect Tasmania’s biosecurity – in fact, it’s the law!

Get to know ALL the Biosecurity Basics - visit the webpages today to find out more about how you can help protect Tasmania: https://nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/biosecurity-basics 

You can also view the Biosecurity Basics video series on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_LeRPTlTNWiPWKlbJdaubnfNVHh4xYri​

(19/12/2023)
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 47/2023 - 2023 Tasmanian Biosecurity Awards winners announced

​On Wednesday 6 December, Hon Jo Palmer MLC, Minister for Primary Industries and Water announced the winners of the inaugural Tasmanian Biosecurity Awards.

The Tasmanian Biosecurity Awards were developed to honour individuals within industries and communities that have made a significant contribution to the state's biosecurity. There are two categories for the awards, the Tasmanian Community Biosecurity Award and the Tasmanian Industry Biosecurity Award.

Robyn Lewis was the winner of the Tasmanian Community Biosecurity Award for her significant involvement in the management and conservation of the Milford Forest. Robyn has been involved in the management and conservation of the Milford Forest for many years, and has successfully implemented very strong biosecurity measures on the property.

Nic Hansen was the winner of the Tasmanian Industry Biosecurity Award for his avid support of the development and improvement of biosecurity in Tasmania. Nic Hansen has worked closely with Horticulture Australia and the National Fruit Fly Council on biosecurity matters and regulation as well as being involved in the 2018 fruit fly emergency response in Tasmania. 

Other nominees of the awards included forensic biologist and beekeeper Charles Connor, Just Cats Inc. a community-oriented organisation supporting cat and kitten welfare, Bill Oosting who has been in the Tasmanian beekeeping community for over 50 years and Michael Rocca who provides significant support to the Northwest Beekeeping Association while also managing his own apiary.

You can read more about the inaugural Tasmanian Biosecurity Awards and our 2023 award winners at www.nre.tas.gov.au/tasbiosecurityawards

(8/12/2023)
Categories: Gene technology; Cropping; Freshwater pests; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 43/2023 - Tasmanian Biosecurity Strategy 2023-2027

​​​Biosecurity Tasmania is excited to announce the release of the Tasmanian Biosecurity Strategy 2023-2027. The strategy has been developed following a round of public consultation in late-2022, with the review process guided by the Biosecurity Advisory Council (as appointed under the Biosecurity Act 2019).

The Tasmanian Biosecurity Strategy is the high-level document that sets the overall direction for biosecurity management in Tasmania by Government, industry and the community. The strategy will help to support a robust and effective Tasmanian biosecurity system where everybody understands, supports, and actions sound biosecurity practices to protect their communities, the environment, and the economy from unwanted pests and diseases.

You can find more information and view the Tasmanian Biosecurity Strategy 2023-2027 at www.nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-strategy.

(10/11/2023)
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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