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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.


184 advisories found for Pasture.
 

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 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;


Biosecurity Advisory 11/2022 – Comments Invited on Draft Biosecurity Regulations 2022

​Draft Biosecurity Regulations 2022 (the Regulations) have been released for public comment.

The Regulations are a supporting measure that are necessary for the full implementation of the Biosecurity Act 2019.  Their primary role is to translate the technical requirements under other pieces of legislation and align them with the relevant sections of the Biosecurity Act 2019

Although the Regulations will allow for the full implementation of the Biosecurity Act 2019, the passing of the new Regulations will not automatically trigger a repeal of other current biosecurity legislation (which includes the Animal (Brands & Movement) Act 1984, Seeds Act 1985, Animal Farming (Registration) Act 1994, Animal Health Act 1995, Plant Quarantine Act 1997, Weed Management Act 1999, Vermin Control Act 2000 – and associated Regulations). There will be a transition period before the repeal of existing biosecurity legislation, which is expected to occur later in 2022.

To view a copy of the draft Regulations and for instructions on how to make a submission visit: https://nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/about-biosecurity-tasmania/biosecurity-act-2019/draft-biosecurity-regulations-2022-public-comments-invited

Submissions close at 5 pm on 10 May 2022.​ ​

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


Biosecurity Advisory 10/2022 – Stay on top of cotton thistle and other declared weeds

​Be on the lookout for declared weeds such as cotton thistle appearing on your property.

Thistles can be a problematic issue for pasture and crop production. Cotton thistle in particular is a serious weed as it can compete with other desired pasture species and its spines can contaminate wool and cause injury to the eyes and mouths of livestock.

​Cotton thistles are currently found in some areas of Tasmania, on the outskirts of Launceston and in localised areas of the Midlands. Cotton thistles can be identified by their characteristic greyish-white and hairy foliage ('cotton' like) and can grow to about 1.5 metres in height. It is an annual plant which flowers from December through to autumn with large purple flower heads (30 – 40 mm in diameter). The stems of the plant also bear prominent wings along the entire length, and the leaves are alternate and spiny.

Onopordum species, which includes cotton thistle, are declared weeds under the Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of Onopordum thistles is prohibited in Tasmania, and the legal responsibilities of landowners and other stakeholders dealing with cotton thistle are described within the Statutory Weed Management Plan for Onopordum Thistles (Cotton Thistle and Stemless Thistle).

If you believe you have cotton thistle on your property, please refer to the Statutory Weed Management Plan to see the required management measures for your municipality. If you are unsure if a plant you have found is cotton thistle or is another type of unknown weed species, you can use the Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora Database illustrations to assist the identification (select the 'Dennis Morris Weeds' tab above the search bar), or look at The Tasmanian Weed Handbook​ which provides information on a whole range of weeds, including cotton thistle. You can also view the 'Identifying Thistles in Tasmania' poster for illustrations of different thistles.​ Alternatively, please contact your local council or NRM weeds officer. 

To control cotton thistle, single plants or small patches can be grubbed out with a hoe or mattock. If flowering, burn all the grubbed material to ensure the removed flower heads do not mature and produce seed.

Some registered herbicides may be appropriate for cotton thistle control using boom or spot spraying depending on the level of infestation. See the Biosecurity Tasmania 'Herbicides for Cotton Thistle Control' webpage for further information.

You can also contact your local council or NRM weed officer for advice on controlling cotton thistle in your area.

It is important to avoid spreading cotton thistle via its seed or accidentally introducing it to unaffected areas. This is particularly important to consider when moving cultivation and earthmoving equipment, feed, grain, and livestock from one place to another. Practice good biosecurity measures such as cleaning equipment, using 'clean' feed free of thistle material, and quarantining livestock suspected to be carrying weed seeds or material for at least two weeks prior to moving onto an unaffected paddock.

For more information on cotton thistle visit the Biosecurity Tasmania website: https://nre.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/weeds/weeds-index/declared-weeds-index/onopordum-thistles-(cotton-and-stemless)

(24/3/2022)
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;

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