Welcome to the new look Biosecurity Matters! We hope you’ll enjoy our more succinct stories divided by what you need to know, what we’ve been up to, and how you can get involved. Also, look out for a survey asking for your feedback when we publish the next edition.

What You Need to Know

A new online source for biosecurity resources
We are excited to introduce biosecurity.gov.au, a new national biosecurity website to support you in finding the biosecurity information you need.

Australia’s biosecurity system is vital for safeguarding our primary industries, environment and communities. Together with state and territory governments, industry and non-government agencies, we have developed this new website to bring together existing biosecurity resources.

Whether you’re an individual or a business, the website links you to everything you need to know about your biosecurity responsibilities.

To find out more, or to share your feedback about the new site, visit biosecurity.gov.au

Containing the container threat!
Sea containers bring essential goods all over the world, but they can also give a free ride to hitchhiking pests like khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium).

As the number one plant priority pest for grains and number two on our National Priority Plant Pest list, the beetle poses a major biosecurity threat to Australia. It’s a hardy and highly invasive pest that destroys grain quality, making it unfit for human or animal consumption.

To reduce the risk of khapra beetle calling Australia home, we’re implementing a range of urgent actions that will result in changes to the imports of plant products and sea containers.

Most recently, we’ve introduced mandatory offshore treatment requirements for certain sea containers. That includes any container carrying high-risk plant products from a country that has khapra beetle, and ones that contain any other goods if they are to be unpacked in a rural grain-growing area of Australia.

The treatment options are methyl bromide, heat or insecticide spray. Importers must know what is required for their containers. Find out more on requirements for sea containers, and sign up for our Industry Advice Notices to stay up to date on our urgent actions.

Wildlife Trade Office – get in touch if you are trading in wildlife!
Many of the world’s animals and plants are threatened by uncontrolled trade. Australia is part of a global community working to ensure endangered species are protected.

Under Australian law you are required to apply for wildlife trade permits to trade internationally in native Australian wildlife, live animals, and wildlife protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). Some exemptions apply.

Wildlife includes live animals and plants, but also artefacts, skins, teeth, fashion items, foods, medicines and more. Some items from endangered species, like elephant ivory and rhino horn, are strictly prohibited.

Under Australia’s environmental laws, it is an offence to trade in regulated wildlife without a permit. Each wildlife offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment or a $222,000 fine.

Our Wildlife Trade Office coordinates all wildlife trade permit applications and can help you understand your obligations under Australian laws.

Some wildlife specimens are also biosecurity concerns. Some products are not permitted entry, while other products are only allowed into Australia subject to meeting certain import conditions that mitigate the biosecurity risk. You may also need a biosecurity import permit. Find out what you need to do before importing goods.

If in doubt, contact the Wildlife Trade Office, and remember to declare your wildlife specimens when entering Australia.

View full newsletter here.

Source: Biosecurity/Department of Agriculture