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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.

311 advisories found for Natural+environment.

Biosecurity Advisory 15/2024 - Have your say - Renewing the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy

​The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is inviting written submissions on the renewal of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS). A renewed AAWS will establish Australia’s commitment to modern, sustainable, evidence and science-based welfare practices.

The renewed AAWS will be jointly led by the Australian, and state and territory governments, built on a principles-based framework, and informed by industry engagement and feedback during consultation. 

Share your views and insights on the challenges and opportunities for animal welfare in Australia through  

There will be further consultation opportunities over the next 3 years as the strategy is developed. If you would like to receive updates on the progress of consultation, you can subscribe for AAWS notifications through the Have Your Say page, linked above. 

Find out more about the strategy on DAFF’s website​.   

Categories: Livestock; Wildlife; Policy and Legislation; Pasture; Natural environment; Marine pests; Invasive Species; Freshwater pests;

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:   

Landowners are encouraged to report rabbit deaths to support our data collection and planning, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 or email

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 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  ​

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

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 

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, and contact Biosecurity Tasmania to report signs of European paper wasp at or call (03) 6165 3777.​

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​ecurity/seasonal-biosecurity-compliance-report.

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

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 08/2024 – Declaration of non-sterile Digitalis species (foxgloves)

​The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania intends to list all sexually reproductive species, sub-species, varieties, hybrids and cultivars of Digitalis species (commonly known as foxgloves). 

The Declaration seeks to prevent sale and trade of all foxgloves to prevent further spread within Tasmania and prevent the introduction of new Digitalis species. The proposed declaration is limited to “designated areas” around State Reserves and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and does not affect those with existing foxglove species in gardens outside designated areas.

The Declaration does not include sterile varieties of Digitalis

Common foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is the only naturalised foxglove listed in the Census of the Vascular Plants of Tasmania. The plant is widely grown as a garden ornamental across Tasmania and has become a widespread environmental weed. It is a threat to high conservation values such as Tasmania’s national parks and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. 

Foxglove is also toxic to humans and animals. All parts of the foxglove plant, especially the leaves, are poisonous.

Eradication of common foxglove from all parts of the State is not feasible and its common occurrence as a garden plant would make this difficult. 

This declaration aims to strike a balance between protecting important environmental values and agricultural assets, whilst at the same time not diverting resources away from high priority weed species for which eradication is still the target. 

Declaration is limited to “designated areas” (areas buffering State Reserves and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area) and “designated purposes” (including specific requirements to control foxglove, in order to protect vulnerable industries or the natural environment, outside designated areas).

Copies of the Statement of Intent will be available on the NRE Tas website Have Your Say - Public Comments Invited | Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (​ and submissions are invited for a period of 60 days and should be received by 5:00pm 21 April 2024. 

For more information visit​ or call (03) 6165 3777. 

Categories: Horticulture; Invasive Species; Natural environment; Plant pests; Cropping; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Pasture;

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

Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Natural environment; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation;

Biosecurity Advisory 06/2023 - Animal Health Australia - Liaison-Livestock Industry Training

Biosecurity Tasmania and Animal Health Australia are working together to deliver Liaison-Livestock Industry training on 7 March 2024. 

The Liaison-Livestock Industry (LLI) training provides participants with the information and tools necessary to fulfill the LLI functional role during an emergency response. The LLI is an industry representative appointed to work as part of an incident management team structure during government-led responses to emergency animal disease incidents. It is a critical role for the operational and strategic success of any response. 

This training is a great opportunity for livestock industry members to learn more about emergency animal diseases, and what role they will play in any emergency response. Although Biosecurity Tasmania is responsible for leading any emergency animal disease response, biosecurity is a shared responsibility and it is crucial that our livestock industries remain informed and are represented throughout a response. The LLI can help greatly to make sure this is achieved.

Registrations close 20 February 2024, to learn more about the role and register your interest for the training, visit: 

Categories: Freshwater pests; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Wildlife;

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

Categories: Cropping; Gene technology; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation;

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