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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.


183 advisories found for Seeds.
 

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General Biosecurity Direction (small hive beetle) and the associated Bee Movement Restriction Area (BMRA) have now been revoked.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 10/2024 - Release of 2024 edition of the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania

​On 29 March 2024 (Good Friday), Biosecurity Tasmania will release a 2024 edition of the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania (version 1).

The new edition includes but is not limited to the following revisions:

  • Updates to the general import conditions around alternative treatment standards (see Section 2.8). Now, if importing plants or plant products under an alternative treatment standard, an Individual Permit is required. An Individual Permit is also required for product certified under a Phytosanitary Certificate.
  • To ensure imported tissue cultures meet required standards, commercial facilities must now be endorsed by Biosecurity Tasmania prior to consigning to Tasmania (see Section 2.10). A new application form will be available on the NRE website from 29 March 2024. Non-commercial operators wanting to send tissue culture to Tasmania can apply for an Individual Permit if they meet the import conditions in clause I of Section 2.10.
  • Inclusion of cacao (Theobroma cacao) as a Mediterranean fruit fly host in Schedule 1A of this Manual;
  • Incorporation of recent changes to the schedule of host products that can be treated for Queensland fruit fly with methyl bromide fumigation under Import Requirement (IR) 2. This now excludes mangoes and plums from treatment;
  • An important change to Import Requirement 10 (IR10) relating to the import of grape matter (vines and other products) from States holding Pest Area Freedom certificates for grape phylloxera. For such States, grape matter (of any form) is no longer exempt from the treatment conditions specified in IR10 for grape matter originating from any recognised Phylloxera (management) Exclusion Zone.
  • Minor changes to requirements for the import of animal feed grain (IR 30), and seed for sowing (IR 36) to bring greater clarity on what is and is not accepted as contaminants in those products, and their tolerance limits;
  • The addition of a 24-month validity period for Statement of Seed Analyses in IR36.
  • Seed weighing less than 1kg being imported for the purposes of research or trials, can no longer be imported under the small weight seed imports condition in IR36 and can only be imported with an Individual Permit.
  • Re-inclusion of some requirements in IR46 that were erroneously removed for tomato potato psyllid and the import of any carrier host fresh fruit and vegetables with green material when harvested and packed in the field, and not a packhouse;
  • Removal of the Appendices previously held in this Manual which provided listings of prohibited pests, declared pests, and restricted matter. Such lists can now only be found from a single point of truth – the online Tasmanian Biosecurity Compendium.

You can find the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania 2023 edition version 2 on our website and the new version from Friday 29 March 2024.

(25/3/2024)
Categories: Cropping; Horticulture; Pasture; Plant diseases; Plant pests; Policy and Legislation; Seeds; Timber imports;


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 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 (nre.tas.gov.au)​ and submissions are invited for a period of 60 days and should be received by 5:00pm 21 April 2024. 

For more information visit https://nre.tas.gov.au/invasive-species/weeds/proposed-declaration-of-digitalis-species-(foxgloves)​ or call (03) 6165 3777. 

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


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;


Biosecurity Advisory 40/2023 – Wildlife importation submissions for public comment

​The Environment business unit of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) has received submissions for the importation of two new species into Tasmania. These species are the Sri Lankan Leopard, Panthera pardus kotiy and the White-bellied caique, Pioites leucogaster.

A risk assessment for each species has been undertaken by NRE Tas, and public comment is invited before 20 October 2023.

Details of the species profiles and risk assessments is available for viewing on the NRE Tas website​.​

(18/10/2023)
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 38/2023 - New South Wales entering transition to management for varroa mite

​​​The National Management Group (NMG) confirmed on 19 September 2023 that eradication of Varroa destructor (varroa mite) in New South Wales (NSW) is no longer feasible based on technical grounds. As a result, NSW will begin a transition to management phase for varroa mite.

Tasmania continues to remain free of varroa mite. 

Since the start of the NSW response, Biosecurity Tasmania has maintained an extensive surveillance system aimed at reducing the risk of varroa mite entering Tasmania and to provide early detection of exotic pests. This includes restrictions on the import of bees, apiary products and used apiary equipment, significant border inspection and surveillance activity including increased surveillance of vessels from NSW, increased general port surveillance for bee swarms, and increased passenger awareness. These actions have been maintained throughout the response in NSW and will continue to be maintained into the future. 

Risk assessments for varroa mite are ongoing due to the evolving situation in NSW to ensure varroa entry risks are effectively managed. 

Tasmanian beekeepers are encouraged to remain vigilant by closely monitoring their colonies for symptoms and signs of varroa mite. 

It is also vital that every beekeeper across Tasmania is registered, as registration is one of our most powerful tools to protect against pests and diseases that threaten our bee population. 

Registration is compulsory and is free of charge. For more information or to register, visit www.nre.tas.gov.au/beekeeper-registration

You can find more information on varroa mite including the online hive surveillance reporting form at www.nre.tas.gov.au/biosecurity-tasmania/animal-biosecurity/bees/varroa-mite or on the NSW webpage at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/emergencies/biosecurity/current-situation/varroa-mite-emergency-response

(20/9/2023)
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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