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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.


263 advisories found for Plant+pests.
 

Biosecurity Advisory 24/2024 - Nominations for the 2024 Tasmanian Biosecurity Awards are now open

​​The awards recognise outstanding biosecurity projects and represent a platform to reinforce, recognise and promote positive biosecurity behavioural change in the industry and community.

This is an opportunity to recognise those in our communities and industries who have gone above and beyond to help protect our future.

Biosecurity is foundational to the economic, social, and environmental assets of Tasmania and we all share the benefits of our strong biosecurity system.

It underpins our multi-billion-dollar agri-food production and export industries, and protects our unique natural wilderness areas that have immeasurable value to all Tasmanians and also visitors to our state.

The awards comprise of two categories, one being the Tasmanian Community Biosecurity Award and the other the Tasmanian Industry Biosecurity Award.

Last year the Tasmanian Community Biosecurity Award was won by Robyn Lewis and the Tasmanian Industry Biosecurity Award by Nic Hansen.

Robyn won for her outstanding management of biosecurity threats to the Milford Forest property, an important ecological site for a number of endemic and endangered species.

Nic was recognised for his contribution and assistance during the 2018 fruit fly incursion in Tasmania and the successful emergency response and eradication that followed.

If you or someone you know has personally contributed towards improving biosecurity in Tasmania, or if they are part of an organisation or group, you can place a nomination today.

More information about the awards and nominations can be found at www.nre.tas.gov.au/tasbiosecurityaward

(5/7/2024)
Categories: Horticulture; Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Information for Bass Strait Islands; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 23/2024 - Emergency General Biosecurity Direction for European Honey Bees and Associated Products- Renewal July 2024

​​Due to the presence of varroa mite (Varroa destructor) in New South Wales (NSW), the Tasmanian Chief Plant Protection Officer has put in place an extension to the general biosecurity direction (emergency), to prevent the introduction of this honey bee parasite into Tasmania.

This direction takes effect as of 12am on Sunday 7 July 2024 and remains in effect for six (6) months, unless it is revoked earlier. The direction prohibits the import into Tasmania of any:

  • European honey bee (Apis mellifera); or
  • Any animal product produced by, or from, a European honey bee other than commercially produced bee products such as honey filtered to a maximum 2 mm pore size and melted refined beeswax, or another process approved by the Chief Plant Protection Officer; or
  • Any used beekeeping equipment; or
  • Any other thing that may reasonably be suspected of being a carrier of bees, or any pest or disease that may affect bees.

This extension has been put in place to further protect Tasmania as the response in NSW transitions towards management of the honey bee pest. Once completed, ongoing risk analysis work being conducted at both the national and state levels will inform future imports of bees, bee products and beekeeping equipment into Tasmania. While this general biosecurity direction (emergency) remains in place, producers will need to continue sourcing queen bees from within Tasmania.

A copy of the general biosecurity direction (emergency) is available at https://nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/animal-biosecurity/bees/rules-for-moving-bees-apiary-products-and-used-apiary-equipment

More information about varroa mite can be found on the NRE Tas website at https://nre.tas.gov.au/varroa

(5/7/2024)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Natural environment; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 21/2024 - Tasmania's Action Plan for Varroa Mite 2024-2034

​Biosecurity Tasmania has developed an Action Plan to keep Tasmania free of varroa mite. This plan is a draft for consultation and we invite interested parties to provide feedback on the plan by Friday 26th July 2024. The draft action plan has 5 key focus areas including:

  1. Prevention: Maintain and improve activities to reduce the risk of varroa mite entry into Tasmania.
  2. Detection: Assess and upgrade varroa mite detection capabilities in border inspection and post-border surveillance activities.
  3. Response: Build enhanced capacity to rapidly respond to varroa mite detections.
  4. Combined Actions: Develop actions that contribute to at least two of the core actions of prevention, detection, or response.
  5. Plan B: Minimise the impacts of varroa mite if it were to establish.

The draft plan is available on our website on the Varroa mite page
To submit feedback please email biosecurity.planthealth@nre.tas.gov.au
If you would like to register for a meeting to discuss the plan please contact Plant Biosecurity and Diagnostics branch biosecurity.planthealth@nre.tas.gov.au or call 03 6165 3777

(25/6/2024)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Invasive Species; Pasture; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation;


Biosecurity Advisory 20/2024 - Release of the Tasmanian Cat Management Plan Achievements 2017-2022 report

​​The Tasmanian Cat Management Plan Achievements 2017-2022 report has been released. The report outlines the key achievements by cat management stakeholders across Tasmania against the strategic objectives of the Tasmanian Cat Management Plan 2017-2022 (the Plan).  

The Plan, which has been supported by a State Government investment of $360,000 per annum, announced in the 2017-18 Budget, recognises that cat management in Tasmania is a shared responsibility and outlines a strategic framework for encouraging responsible cat ownership and reducing the impacts of cats on the environment and agriculture now and into the future.  

Legislative amendments were introduced in March 2022, backed by an additional investment of $350,000 by the State Government for implementation, to strengthen Tasmania’s cat management regulatory framework to better support responsible cat ownership and protection of private property from cats.   

Three regional cat management coordinators have been funded by the State Government to foster collaboration between the State, councils, cat management facilities, and other relevant stakeholders to spread awareness and increase participation in cat management across the state.     

To enhance public education and engagement, the highly successful TassieCat campaign has been implemented, utilising various media platforms to promote responsible cat ownership and management resulting in increased public interest, support, and participation in cat management initiatives.  

In addition, a number of successful local cat control programs have been initiated by Tasmanian municipal councils and cat management facilities in response to community concerns around stray, domestic and feral cats.   

A new Tasmanian Cat Management Plan 2024-2029 is currently in development by NRE Tas in consultation with key stakeholders. The new Plan, to be released later this year, will provide a revised framework for cat management in Tasmania for the next five years that incorporates the experiences and knowledge gained during the implementation of the current Plan. NRE Tas will seek feedback from the public on a draft of the new Plan prior to its release.  

For more information and for a copy of the Tasmanian Cat Management Plan Achievements 2017-2022 report visit the NRE Tas website: https://nre.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/responsible-cat-ownership/tasmanian-cat-management-plan ​

(25/6/2024)
Categories: Cropping; Information for Bass Strait Islands; Invasive Species; Livestock; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 19/2024 – Renewing the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy - There’s still time to have your say!

​The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is still inviting written submissions on the renewal of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS). Submissions close on Sunday 30 June at 4pm, AEST.

A renewed AAWS will establish Australia’s commitment to modern, sustainable, evidence and science-based welfare practices.

Your views are important. Share your views and insights on the challenges and opportunities for animal welfare in Australia through www.agriculture.gov.au/haveyoursay/aaws

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 www.agriculture.gov.au/agriculture-land/animal/welfare/aaws

(13/6/2024)
Categories: Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Information for Bass Strait Islands; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Wildlife;


Biosecurity Advisory 17/2024 - Biosecurity Advisory Category Added For Bass Strait Islands

Biosecurity Tasmania has added a new category to the Tasmanian biosecurity advisories service​, titled “Information for the Bass Strait islands”. This category is intended to provide biosecurity information for communities on King Island, Flinders Island, and other offshore Islands in the Bass Strait. It may also be used to share information and updates on biosecurity projects and other work undertaken by Biosecurity Tasmania in these areas.

Members of the public already subscribed to the service who want to receive information and updates relating to the Bass Strait islands will need to update their preferences. This can be done by following the steps below:
  • click on ‘update subscription’ at the bottom of this email
  • tick the box for ‘Information for Bass Strat Islands’
  • click ‘save’
Your preferences will be updated, and you will receive all future relevant biosecurity advisories.

To view all Tasmanian biosecurity advisories, visit https://biosecurityadvisory.nre.tas.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx



(31/5/2024)
Categories: Cropping; Freshwater pests; Gene technology; Horticulture; Information for Bass Strait Islands; Invasive Species; Livestock; Marine pests; Natural environment; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports; Wildlife;


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;

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