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Biosecurity in Agriculture

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					                   Biosecurity                                                          October 2006


                        in
                   Agriculture


In this issue                        The many facets of plant biosecurity
                                                               Dr Shashi Sharma, Director Plant Biosecurity
•   Our People in Biosecurity        Agriculture contributes about 13 per cent of Post border biosecurity activities cover
    Dr Francis De Lima               the State’s total exports, worth more than $3.6 surveillance for targeted pests and diseases
•   Cold treatment trials to aid     billion and employs 10 per cent of the State’s and encourage community surveillance
    citrus exports                   total workforce.                                  by generating greater awareness about
•   Locust control
•   Locust database Sterile Insect   Western Australia continues to enjoy biosecurity risks through the ‘Silent Invaders’
    Technique trials                 considerable market advantages as a result campaign.
•   AGWEST Plant Laboratories:       of its freedom from many plant pests and Through the campaign, the pests of the highest
    Helping protect WA’s growing     diseases found in other parts of Australia and biological concern are highlighted, including
    industries                       throughout the world.                             European house borer, codling moth and the
•   Post entry quarantine facility   While WA’s relative isolation has long guarded European wasp. Community members are
•   Watch out for boneseed           this enviable status, it has also been reinforced publicly recognised for their reporting.
•   Information service              by strict biosecurity policies, regulations, To facilitate community involvement in
•   Wheat streak mosaic virus        controls and surveillance.                        surveillance, the Department provides a free
•   Online plant pest and disease    However, in the mobile environment of global advice and identification service, through
    database                         trade, production regions and the environment the Pest and Disease Information Service
•   Information service              have potentially become more vulnerable to (PaDIS).
•   Community and environment        biosecurity threats than ever before.             A combined Government and community effort
    biosecurity                      To address these risks, Western Australia has is critical in defending WA’s biosecurity status.
•   Border inspections               led the country in its investment in pre, post The Department has embraced this
•   Stock feed movement: Quality     and border biosecurity programs.                  responsibility and has implemented industry
    assurance
                                     A crucial part of pre-border biosecurity is in specific ‘Guard’ biosecurity plans, including
•   Restrictions on strawberry
                                     pest and disease risk analyses which provide HortGuard and GrainGuard.
    exports to NSW
                                     scientifically-based recommendations on The Guards cater for a range of plant industries,
•   OrdGuard biosecurity project
                                     whether materials should be allowed into the and include contingency plans for emergency
    begins
                                     State.                                            incidents.
•   Quarantine finds at road
    checkpoints                      This process ensures minimal                                 The concept has been expanded
•   European house border            restrictions on trade, while                                    to individual farm biosecurity
    confined to Perth                protecting the State from pests                                   plans which have incorporated
•   National plant biosecurity       and diseases.                                                       the use of farm biosecurity
    forum                            Biosecurity is implemented                                           signage.
•   CRC Plant Biosecurity            at the border by the WA                                              The State defends its right to
•   Social Insect Resarch Section    Quarantine and Inspection                                            protect its market advantage
•   Publications                     Service (WAQIS), which also                                         and guard against threats to
                                     inspects imports.                                                 its biosecurity.
                                Our People in Biosecurity
                                           Dr Francis De Lima
Francis De Lima joined the Department of Agriculture and Food               In his role as a quarantine entomologist, Francis has also
in 1989 after gaining his PhD at the University of London and               developed disinfestation standards for export apples, pears and
embarking on six years of entomological work as a post harvest              table grapes to ensure exports are free of redback spiders and the
expert with the United Nations in African countries.                        light brown apple moth.
Now a senior entomologist, his early work was focused on                    Francis met this demand by developing successful treatment
developing fumigation procedures to ensure insects were                     of shipments by fumigating with ethyl formate, which does not
thoroughly killed in export hay shipments.                                  damage the fruit.
Over 1991-92, Francis developed reliable fumigation methods
which were adopted as a national protocol. As a result of being
able to reliably meet the Quality Assurance demands of the major
customers for hay, Japan and Korea, hay exports from Australia
jumped to 700,000 tonnes a year. This is now a significant export
for parts of the South West in which high quality hay is produced.
Also in the early 1990s, Francis developed a cold treatment (1°C)
to disinfest export citrus fruits of Mediterranean fruit fly larvae. This
alternative treatment was necessary as the standard fumigation
treatment used for the previous 20 years was banned by the USA
and Japan.
This treatment enabled Western Australian citrus exporters to
confidently meet the the disinfestation requirements of customer
countries, and national export volumes of citrus jumped accordingly.
This treatment is currently being further refined.




       Cold-treatment trials to aid citrus exports
Senior entomologist Dr Francis De Lima has commenced                        Furthermore, Medfly in Western Australia are up to three times
extensive trials on behalf of Australian citrus growers, to verify a        more tolerant of cold than the Queensland fruit fly evident in
cold-treatment disinfestation technique of Mediterranean fruit fly          other Australian states.
in citrus fruit to meet the requirements of Japanese importers.             The Medfly cold room trials will simulate cold treatment in a
The trials will test the efficacy of changing the previously-used           volume similar to that of a 40-foot shipping container, to replicate
standard of holding the fruit at 1ºC, to two or 3ºC, depending                 the volume shipped to export markets. Treatment regimes are
on the type of citrus fruit.                                                              being tested for mandarins, tangelos and lemons
Presently, citrus fruit is exported chilled                                                     for between 16 and 20 days.
to 1ºC for disinfestation, but the                                                                   As many as 100 contract employees
Australian citrus industry would                                                                        comprising graduate students from
like to see the development of                                                                            Perth’s four major universities have
a treatment which reduces the                                                                              been trained to examine Medfly
amount of chilling-injury to                                                                                larvae by microscope. The trials,
fruit.                                                                                                       which began in September, are
Western Australia was chosen                                                                                 expected to be conducted over
to carry out these trials because                                                                            the next three months.
Medfly is endemic to the State,                                                                             Further information:
whereas the Queensland fruit                                                                               Dr Francis De Lima Ph 9368 3587
fly is the major fruit fly in other
States, and because WA is the only
state with a suitable facility to conduct                                                         Staff undergo microscope training to
the trials.                                                                                     identify Mediterranean fruit fly lavae.
                   Cooperation key to locust control
The threat of the Australian Plague Locust (APL), (Chortoicetes        Lower-density and more widely dispersed locust populations
terminifera) to Western Australia’s agricultural regions has again     outside of Priority Target Zones will be controlled by
become an issue this season, with the first hatchings and the          landholders.
commencement of spraying.                                              The estimated cost to achieve a 70 per cent level of control to
To prevent the development of large and damaging                              cost-effectively lessen damage to crops and pasture is
swarms, the Department of Agriculture and Food                                      $11 million.
(DAFWA) has developed a comprehensive                                                     A comprehensive website has been created
plan to manage all phases of the control                                                    at www.agric.wa.gov.au to keep all parties
campaign for 2006.                                                                            fully briefed with industry and community
The Department’s locust response                                                               information, status reports, briefing notes
is led by biosecurity officer Simon                                                             and media releases, in addition to locust
Merewether.                                                                                     campaign contacts.
Spraying of fenitrothion insecticide                                                            A current Bulletin on Australian Plague
commenced in mid-October to                                                                    Locusts has been distributed to
control large areas of dense                                                                  landholders. It provides background to
locusts where there is an                                                                   the 2006 campaign, and describes control
extreme risk of them                                                                      and management relating to a range of plant
forming highly mobile,                                                               industries. Information is also provided on health
damaging swarms.                                                               and safety related to the use of insecticides.
Egg bed monitoring                                                     Further information:
to date indicates this
                                                                       Simon Merewether, Australian Plague Locust Campaign Incident
will be required in the
                                                                       Coordinator, Ph 9780 6225.
Northern and Central
Agricultural regions.



   Locust database aids                                                           Sterile Insect
       operations                                                                Technique trials
To assist management of the Australian Plague Locust (APL)
incident this year, the Department of Agriculture and Food’s           Alternative strategies to control insect exotic plant pest incursions
(DAFWA) Client and Resource Information System (CRIS) team             are being explored in a project that links researchers in Western
has developed online data entry forms and an associated Locust         Australia, Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand.
Map Interface.                                                         The trials use light brown apple moth (LBAM) as a pilot species,
The database will enable staff to enter data captured in the           focusing on alternative strategies to remove the pest. In the first
field directly into a central database. The Locust Map Interface       instance, irradiation techniques will be developed to sterilise
will be used by staff to spatially track and provide details about     male insects for release and disruption of mating cycles.
hatchings, surveys and spraying operations.                            Past eradication programs have typically included techniques
The locust interface uses thematic maps to display hatchings,          including the removal and burning of infested crops. This
surveying, risk and spraying information at a property level.          expensive method was utilised to eradicate codling moth at
It also displays statistics at Shire, regional and State level.        Bridgetown in 1993, and in                                  1998 at
Property-based reports can be produced for an arbitrary area           Dwellingup.
defined by the user.                                                   The sterile insect trial
During the incident, Shire, regional, and State-based statistics       aims to minimise the
will be updated every 30 minutes.                                      negative economic,
In addition to the on-line system, CRIS staff will be located in all   environmental        and
locust regions to produce property survey maps for all properties      social impact of exotic
in target zones. The maps will display property boundaries,            plant pest control.
sensitive areas and an orthophoto image background.                    Further information:
The maps will be used by survey teams to produce property              Bill Woods Ph 9368 3962
spray plans for spray contractors.
                AGWEST Plant Laboratories
           Helping protect WA growing industries
The AGWEST Plant Laboratories provide world class seed                Tests facilitate trade of Australian commodities by assuring buyers
testing, certification and diagnostic services to underpin the        the products comply with the conditions of importing countries.
State’s continued freedom from exotic diseases. The Laboratories      Further information; plant pathology for horticulture, Hossein
have been accredited for the next three years by the International    Golzar 9368 3693, plant pathology for broadacre, Dominie Wright
Seed Testing association.                                             9368 3875.
In the past year, 5,000 commercial, quarantine and regulatory seed                              Weed identification
and plant samples for the identification of weeds, diseases and
                                                                      Over the past year, 20 weeds of national significance were
conduct of physical tests were analysed by the Laboratories.
                                                                      declared under the Agriculture and Related Resources Protection
                         Seed certification
                                                                      Act 1976 to remove them from the nursery and garden trade in
The Western Australian Certified and Registered Seed Schemes,         Western Australia.
which are industry cooperative schemes administered by
                                                                      Accurate weed identification is vital for appropriate weed
DAFWA, provide growers with confidence the seed product they
                                                                      management and for determining possible new threats from
purchase meets defined quality standards.
                                                                      introduced plants.
Trained inspectors assess crops for weeds, seed-borne diseases
                                                                      Further information: Sandy Lloyd Ph 9368 3760
and cultivar purity.
                                                                                              Insect identification
Further certified seed labels provide a passport for seed to be
                                                                      Some insect pests pose a significant threat to agricultural
exported worldwide, as only certified seed of most varieties can
                                                                      production, and accurate insect identification is therefore vital
enter European and other markets.
                                                                      for appropriate pest management. Insect identification is also
Further information: Michael Davies Ph 9368 3311                      important in identifying new threats in introduced insects.
                   The Seed Testing Laboratory
                                                                      The Department of Agriculture and Food houses an Insect
The accredited Seed Testing Laboratory provides tests to indicate     Reference Collection of more than 200,000 specimens. The
the quality of seeds. The range of tests includes germination,        collection focuses on species of agricultural significance, such
purity, seed contaminants and disease levels.                         as fruit flies, stored product insects, wood boring beetles and
Samples and seeds are received from a wide range of groups            thrips, providing essential reference materials for entomological
including the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service            research programs.
(AQIS), the Western Australian Quarantine and Inspection              Non-pest specimens are included for comparison, as well as
Service (WAQIS), the representative groups for Biosecurity in         exotic pests that help enable entomologists recognise potential
industry, HortGuard® and GrainGuard, and from farmers, seed           new pest incursions.
merchants and seed cleaners.
                                                                      The reference collection is now fully databased and shared with
The results of seed tests can be used to make decisions on            collaborators across Australia through the Australian Plant Pest
buying, selling and exporting seed, and for predicting appropriate    Database network. Plans are underway to incorporate this date
seeding rates.                                                        into the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
Identification of seed species is aided by AGWEST’s Seed              Further information:
Reference Collection which contains 4000 verified seed
                                                                      Andras Szito (pictured below) Ph 9368 3571
specimens.
Further information: Marcia Vistisen Ph 9368 3844
                     Plant Disease Diagnosis
Foliar and root diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses and
nematodes can be difficult to identify in horticultural plants, and
crops and pastures in the field,
Laboratory diagnosis enables growers to respond appropriately
to serious diseases. Laboratory services are provided to the
horticultural industry, particularly for flowers, nursery plants,
amenity horticulture, turf, fruits and vegetables.
Diagnostic services are offered for broadacre crops and
pastures.
Modern agronomy practices to aid the identification and
management of plant diseases have enabled high yields in
Western Australian grain crops.
                           AGWEST Plant Laboratories
                             WA’s post entry quarantine facility
The Department’s post entry quarantine facility provides a           also handles plant material imported into WA from other States
biosecure pathway of the safe introduction of new germplasm          of Australia to meet WAQIS requirements because WA is free
into Australia from international sources and other states to        of some plant diseases that are present east of the Nullarbor
Western Australia.                                                   Plain.
Over the past year, plants released from the Post Entry Plant        Some examples of the types of high risk plant material commonly
Quarantine Facility included more than 4,000 plants which            handled in the WA plant quarantine facility include grapevines,
represented new germplasm to Australia, as well as new               stone fruit, pome fruit, olives, tropical fruits, timber tree species
germplasm to Western Australia.                                      and field crops such as cereals, lupins, chickpeas and pasture
The importation of new plant germplasm gives Australian              species. Last year, 286 imported seed lines were destroyed due
plant industries access to new and improved genetic material.        to detection of virus, and eight horticultural plants were rejected
However, it presents a significant biosecurity risk because such     through the detection of exotic diseases.
material may inadvertently introduce exotic plant pests and          Further information:
diseases. Consequently most nursery stock material including         Neville Burton
plant cuttings, bare-rooted plants, many seed lines and some
                                                                     Ph 9368 3460
tissue culture plantlets, are subject to inspection and treatment
on arrival followed by post-entry growth in quarantine with          For           further
disease screening.                                                   information       on
                                                                     AGWEST Plant
The post-entry plant quarantine program has an important role
                                                                     Laboratories
to play to ensure the safe introduction of new genetic material
                                                                     go to AGWEST
that will allow Western Australian agricultural and horticultural
                                                                     at     www.agric.
industries to develop and remain competitive while at the same
                                                                     wa.gov.au
time prevent the entry of exotic pests and diseases that would
result in a loss of production, increased production costs and
loss of export markets.                                              Above: Neville Burton
DAFWA operates an AQIS-approved facility for the importation         displays chickpeas from
of high risk plant material into Western Australia. This facility    India.



               Weed Watch                                               Information services
           Watch for boneseed
Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides        Boneseed’s bright yellow
                                                                            help growers
monilifera), a weed which has     daisy-like flowers are evident     The PestFax information service continues to receive good
the potential to aggressively     during spring. The pest plant      responses from agronomists, consultants, DAFWA staff and
invade and choke Western          was introduced to Australia        farmers.
Australia’s native woodlands,     from South Africa in the 1800s     Pestfax is a weekly information bulletin produced from reports
has recently been identified      as an ornamental garden plant      from the field. Comments and appropriate managements
growing at Narrogin and Perth.    – a common route for many          prepared by experts are included in Pestfax which is emailed to
Boneseed is a dark green,          of today’s introduced plants      growers, agribusiness and Department staff.
densely-branched                           which are now serious     Findings in grain crops reported in present bulletins include
shrub         which                            weeds.                stripe rust, stem rust, native budworm moth, diamondback moth
grows up to 5m                                   Anyone sighting     and the Rutherglen bug.
tall. It has been                                 a    suspected     Further information: Peter Mangano on Ph 9368 3753
upgraded to a                                     boneseed plant
                                                                     Orchard Alert is a weekly newsletter distributed weekly to fruit
‘must eradicate’                                  is requested
                                                                     growers and the fruit industry. In its first issue for the spring of
category        in                                to call the Pest
                                                                     2006 it listed the prevalence of such pests as thrips, scales and
WA.                                              and       Disease
                                                                     the potential locust problem, and advised on the use of copper
Eradication                                    Information
                                                                     sprays.
efforts were boosted                        Service on freecall
                                     1800 084 881.                   Further information: Mark Sivyer on Ph 9368 3157
in Western Australia with a
visit from National Boneseed      Further information:
Coordinator Hillary Cherry who    Sandy Lloyd on Ph 9368 3760
met with community groups
and land managers.
   Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus: current position
Recent surveys of the distribution of Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus
(WSMV) indicate the virus cannot be prevented from spreading     WSMV seed test for
widely throughout the Western Australian wheatbelt.
WSMV was initially detected in Western Australia during April in   2007 season
self-sown wheat volunteer plants on properties in the Esperance        To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Western Australian grain
and Kondinin. It was first identified in a commercial wheat crop       growers will benefit from a seed test for Wheat Streak Mosaic
near Merredin in August.                                               Virus (WSMV), presently being developed, which will allow them
Subsequent surveys have identified WSMV in commercial crops            to avoid sowing wheat crops with diseased seed.
from Esperance in the south, to a number of wheatbelt shires.          The test is expected to help prevent crop losses and a loss of
WSMV is a virus that affects wheat and other cereals. Stunted          grain quality associated with the disease.
growth is evident in affected young wheat plants, while infection of   Stepping up to the task is Dr Geoff Dwyer, formerly of Saturn
older plants causes a streaky mosaic discolouration on leaves.         Biotech, who is presently developing the test with plant pathologist
Widespread infection of young plants can cause complete crop           Dr Roger Jones.
failure. In the Great Plains region of the United States, annual       Funded by the Grains
crop losses of two to five per cent are reported.                      Research              and
Department research concluded for the first time that seed             Development
transmission of WSMV occurs in wheat. The virus spreads to             Corporation
new locations by the sowing of infected seed.                          (GRDC),           the
                                                                       DAFWA-directed
Western Australian growers have been urged to watch for and
                                                                       project is seeking
report signs of the disease, and to have their seed tested for the
                                                                       to develop a rapid,
virus to prevent its spread when seeding next year.
                                                                       sensitive, dry seed
The wheat leaf curl mite, common in Western Australia, is the          test that will be able
vector for local WSMV spread. It is just 0.2 to 0.3 mm long and is     to detect WSMV in just
therefore easily borne on the wind.                                    one seed in bulk samples
DAFWA and industry are advising Western Australians growers            of more than 1000 seeds.
not to retain seed from WSMV-affected crops, or seed from              The test will be used by seed testing laboratories and organisations
which seed samples have tested positive. Growrers have also            including the Department, that import seed from the Eastern
been advised to ‘knock out’ any green bridge of volunteer cereals      States for variety testing, breeding and other purposes.
and grasses over summer to preclude a habitat for the wheat curl
                                                                       It will also be used to test seed samples from Western Australian
mite and WSMV.
                                                                       wheat growers.
Further information:
                                                                       It is expected that an initial testing service will be available
Go to www.agric.wa.gov.au and enter ‘Wheat Streak Mosaic               to farmers to test suspect seed stocks in time for next year’s
Virus’ to view all media releases, fact sheets and Frequently          sowing.
Asked Questions.
                                                                       Further information: Geoff Dwyer Ph 9368 3677




           Online databases: plant pest and disease
                distribution around the world
  Insect Collection
  Distribution Maps of plant pests throughout the world are available from the Library website at http://agweb/Business/IKM/Library/
  findit/databases.htm#DMPP or navigate from the Library homepage to FindIt and Databases and click on ‘Search Distribution Maps
  of Plant Pests Online’. Click on ‘main menu’ then ‘search database’ to start your search.
        Community and environment biosecurity
During 2005-06, the Department responded to more than 40            freight from Victoria. A further queen wasp was found in broccoli
animal and plant pest and disease incidents in metropolitan         from Tasmania in Bunbury. This demonstrates the risk posed
and peri-urban and regional locations. Incidents included plant     by imported produce, as well as the role of the community in
diseases such as Wheat streak mosaic virus, potato virus Y and      reporting suspected pests.
apple scab in the Perth Hills. Plant pest incursion s included      Other pests of significance
rubber vine on the Fitzroy River and three horned bedstraw
                                                                    A Cerambycid larvae was detected in a wooden statue brought
found in Merredin and Cranbrook.
                                                                    into the country from Africa 10 months
European wasps                                                      earlier.
The total number of European wasp nests detected this season        A pest control technician
                               is 32, compared to 41 for last       reported drywood termite
                               year. A concentration of nests       infestation of a piano
                               occurred in industrial/commercial    brought into the country
                               sites which receives significant     from Zimbabwe in 1986.
                               amounts of freight from the          The piano was fumigated.
                               Eastern States, where European       It was considered that based
                               wasps are prevalent.                 on the amounts of frass,
                               In Dardanup, 18 fertilised queen     the colony was capable of
                               wasps were found hibernating in      producing wings.



Border inspections for potential pest animals
In July-August, almost 70 vertebrate animal consignments (of        Of particular note, in terms of the species’ potential for damage
which 65 were birds) were inspected at Perth Domestic Airport.      to crops, was an exotic monk, or Quaker parakeet, seized at the
Twenty-seven consignments were species subject to regulation        Eucla road checkpoint. The monk parakeet, which is native to
under the Agriculture and Related Resources Protection              South America and has spread extensively in the USA, poses an
Act1976, and 42 contained animals regulated under the Wildlife      extreme risk for Western Australia.
Conservation Act.                                                   Further information:
                                                                    Garry Gray on Ph 9366 2338


           Stock feed movement: Quality Assurance
A new Quality Assurance Arrangement for the certification of stock feed for the pest, green snail, is presently being negotiated with
the Department of Primary Industries and Resources South Australia, to facilitate the movement of stock
feed from Western Australia to South Australia.
The use of a certification assurance arrangement will allow horse transport businesses to certify
the stock feed themselves. This will remove the need for a WAQIS Inspector to certify the stock
feed accompanying a consignment of horses, resulting in reduced costs and increased flexibility to
transport businesses.
Further information: Greg Croker Ph 9334 1800



        Restrictions on strawberry exports to NSW
Restrictions have been imposed by New South Wales on strawberries imported from Western Australia following the detection of
green snail in a consignment sent to Sydney.
Western Australian strawberry exporters will now be required to have consignments inspected and certified by a DAFWA officer,
or under a Quality Assurance Arrangement, to meet the import requirements for entry into New South Wales. The certification
requirements include that:
The fruit or vegetable has been inspected and found to be free of green snail; and
All transport containers have been inspected and found to be free of green snail.
For the period December to March inclusive, stock can be exported without restriction since snails are aestivating at this time and
do not pose a risk.
Further information: Lesley Lally on Ph 9334 1800
              OrdGuard Biosecurity project begins
The Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) is a significant engineering     Agriculture and Food in May 2006.
and agricultural project with more than 12,000ha of irrigated land    The Department is working with PhD student Paul Royce to
currently under production.                                           develop and deliver biosecurity extension material to the farming
Mangoes, melons and other cucurbits, sugar cane, chickpeas            community, as biological incursions of Medfly and other pests
and a range of other commercial crops grown in the area inject        affect not only individual growers and industry, but the livelihood
about $53 million into the local and State economy.                   of the whole community.
Protecting the ORIA, and Area Freedom                                 Bringing biosecurity to the community
Produce grown in the region is free from many of the pests found      The primary focus of OrdGuard is to understand how different
in other Australian agricultural areas. Therefore, a significant      sectors of the community learn about their environment and
incursion in the area would have serious and detrimental                             use the information to enhance and support more
implications for current and future farming                                                  effective learning outcomes, particularly in
industries.                                                                                       relation to biosecurity and the reporting
Mechanisms in place to protect the ORIA                                                              of biological threats in the ORIA.
include restrictions which apply to the                                                                  One of the key elements of the
movement of citrus and stone fruit from                                                                    project is to tap into the significant
the south of the State, from 1 April to                                                                     community spirit that already
the end of November each year and a                                                                          exists in Kununurra and work
quarantine checkpoint on the Northern                                                                        with those individuals, groups
Territory/Western Australia border.                                                                          and/or organisations already
In spite of the measures, a number                                                                           doing excellent work in the
of incursions have occurred over the                                                                        area.
years, including outbreaks of Medfly. The                                                                  DAFWA’s biosecurity role in
eradication of introduced pests resulted in                                                              the Ord River Irrigation Area
the region’s loss of area of freedom status,                                                         The Department carries out
which cost local growers lucrative contracts with                                                 surveillance and maintains an AQIS-
                                 important markets.                                          accredited fruit fly monitoring grid in the Ord
                                 As a result, the Department                         irrigation area. The maintenance of this surveillance
                                 of Agriculture and Food in           grid enables the area to send produce to other States of Australia
                                 partnership with ORIA farmers        and to some international markets without treatment.
                                 developed and produced the           Department staff also carry out invertebrate pest, weed and plant
                                 OrdGuard Regional Biosecurity        disease surveillance in the Ord irrigation area.
                                 Plan, which aims to reduce the
                                                                      Signs erected by the Department notify people travelling into
                                 risk of biological incursions into
                                                                      the area from the south of the State about restrictions on fruit
                                 the Ord River region. The Plan
                                                                      movement, and pamphlets and posters advise tourists about fruit
                                 was launched by the Minister for
                                                                      movement into the area.




              Quarantine finds at road checkpoints
Despite recent months of high fuel prices, WAQIS inspectors           In the same period, the Eucla checkpoint on the border with
report that vehicle numbers entering from interstate at the           South Australia, recorded more than 15,000 incoming vehicles.
Kununurra and Eucla biosecurity road checkpoints for the June         More than 2,000kg of produce was seized from the 2,000 cars
to August period have not decreased compared to the same time         inspected.
last year.                                                            Of the Eucla inspections, one traveller was required to return
Just under 17,000 vehicles passed through the Kununurra               to South Australia to dispose of three active beehives. Heavy
checkpoint at the Western Australia-Northern Territory border.        machinery including drill rigs, dump trucks, loaders and tractors
More than 5,000kg of quarantined produce was seized, and              were placed under quarantine for further inspection and
7000 cars inspected.                                                  cleaning.
The intercepts included plants without Plant Health Certificates      Further information: Bruce Hastings on Ph 9334 1805
from the Northern Territory and anthracnose or stem-end-rot in
mangoes from the Northern Territory.
          European House Borer confined to Perth
Indications from a widespread ‘delimiting’ survey of rural areas      EHB in a nutshell
between Geraldton and Esperance indicate European House               • EHB was first detected in the Perth suburb of Parkerville in
Borer (EHB) has not spread beyond the greater metropolitan area            2004;
of Perth.
                                                                      • EHB is a quarantine pest exotic to Australia, although previous
These findings are the result of an exhaustive assessment of dead          infestations have been detected and destroyed in the Eastern
branches in living pine trees, as well as dead trees and pine logs         States;
and stumps which are favoured hosts for the pest. The survey was
                                                                      • EHB is a destructive pest of untreated, seasoned pine
conducted along all country roads in areas between Geraldton and
                                                                           timbers which are commonly used for structural purposes in
Esperance which receive more than 400 mm annual rainfall area.
                                                                           Australia;
Identification of suspect larvae sampled from these sites by
                                                                      • In the greater Perth metropolitan area, the pest is mainly
Department of Agriculture and Food entomologists confirmed the
                                                                           confined to the hills area and Gnangara/Ellenbrook, although
good news that none of the sample material was EHB.
                                                                           it has been noted in several other scattered suburbs;
All sampled sites were recorded by Geographical Positioning
                                                                      • EHB larvae tunnel in wood until the adult beetles emerge
System (GPS) coordinates, which will enable precise future re-
                                                                           from an oval-shaped hole measuring about 5 by 10mm.
location of the sites.
                                                                           Frass, which is a mix of fine, powdery wood dust and larva
Summer activities facing the EHB task force, based at Forrestfield,        excrement, can sometimes be found on the floor below
will involve continued door-knocking to check premises for signs           infested materials;
of the pest and tree removal in infested sites. The department has
                                                                      • Large-scale education campaigns, encouraging the
surveyed more than 55,000 properties since 2004
                                                                           community to report suspected EHB and not move pine out of
Businesses and residents are complying with the EHB regulations            PMZs, are ongoing; and
regarding the restricted movement of host timbers. The regulations
                                                                      • The critical time for people to spot the pest is from September
implemented in February 2006 restrict the movement of untreated
                                                                           to March when the adult beetles emerge and fly.
pine out of a Priority Management Zone (PMZ) unless it has
been treated or stored in a correct manner as prescribed by the       For updated information on EHB, including latest finds and media
regulations.                                                          releases, go to www.ehb.wa.gov.au



            WA well represented at national plant
                      biosecurity forum
Department of Agriculture and Food plant biosecurity scientists
contributed to a two-day CRC National Plant Biosecurity Symposium         About CRC Plant Biosecurity
held in Canberra, during September.                                   The Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity is
The conference addressed future directions in plant biosecurity,      the central coordinating body for plant biosecurity research across
focusing on research and education programs based on                  all Australian states and territories.
preparedness and prevention, diagnostics, surveillance, impact        CRC Plant Biosecurity’s mission is to foster scientific collaboration
management and education and training.                                and engage stakeholders to deliver plant biosecurity technologies
The second day’s program assessed the Current and future              that will reduce risk to, and ensure sustainability of, Australia’s
challenges facing Australian food security were assessed by           plant industries.
speakers from industry, government, research and education.           The Centre’s research and education programs cover the full
Entomologists Dr Darryl Hardie, Peter Davis, Rob Emery and            biosecurity continuum from preparedness and prevention through
Bill Woods attended, and Dr Hardie, leader for the CRCNPB in          to diagnostics, surveillance and impact management.
Surveillance, presented an overview of surveillance and described     DAFWA has the largest research input of all contributing states
selection and training of quarantine and surveillance staff.          in the CRCNPB. The Department’s research covers the activity
Alison Mackie jointly presented a paper describing the use of         groups of preparedness and prevention, diagnostics, surveillance,
hyperspectral imaging for the detection of a range of emergency       impact management and education and training.
plant pest pathogens, and Rob Emery spoke about Personal Digital      Western Australian projects include a sterile insect technique
Assistance technology to provide a national system for rapid and      to control the light brown apple moth as a pilot species, and
secure plant biosecurity surveillance data capture.                   hyperspectral imaging for the detection of a range of emergency
Bill Woods presented on non-invasive eradication technologies for     plant pest pathogens.
arthropod emergency plant pest incursions.                            Further information: See website www.crcplantbiosecurity.com.au
                       Social Insect Research Section
The Department of Agriculture and Food’s Social Insect Research    Eradication of European wasp incursions and the prevention of
Section provides research, advisory and technical support          European wasps establishing in Western Australia has been a
to general plant biosecurity programs within the Department,       prime role for the group over the past 29 years. The community
specifically in the area of social insects including wasps, ants   has been effectively engaged to report the presence of European
and termite pests.                                                            wasps and community surveillance is the single most
The group seeks to engage the public and pest                                         important surveillance method utilised by the
control industry in post-border surveillance                                              group.
by offering a free and independent                                                           A grid-based system of traps in
identification and advisory service.                                                            commercial/industrial areas is
This is done via the provision of                                                                 used to augment community
information leaflets on key pests and                                                               surveillance.
presentations to community groups                                                                    Advice is provided by the group
and professional pest control                                                                        at a national level on pests of
operators.                                                                                           national significance, including
The group is responsible for the                                                                     Red imported fire ants and
majority of incursion response                                                                       Argentine ants.
actions when exotic, non-agricultural                                                               Surveillance for exotic tramp ant
invertebrate pests are detected,                                                                   species is undertaken via surveys
including drywood termites, wood-                                                                and by sample submission by the
borers, ants, wasps and snails. The                                                           public and the pest control industry.
required actions include inspection of
buildings, fumigation of individual furniture
                                                                                      Above: Peter Davis and Marc Widmer
items, whole-of-house fumigations, baiting strategies
                                                                                inspect a termite nest.
for ants and eradication of exotic snail infestations.




                                                Publications
Bulletins:                                                         150     Livestock identification and movement : cattle and
4677 Wild dog management: best practice manual                             buffalo
4682 Phytophthora diseases of cutflower crops                      153     Beet cyst nematode on vegetables
4683 Sampling and testing for plant pathogens                      158     Control of body lice (Bovicola ovis) on some new
                                                                           breeds of sheep
4689 Dairy Catch: environmental best practice guidelines
                                                                   160     Gorse (Furze) Ulex europaeus Papilionaceae
4691 Australian plague locust                                              (Fabaceae) family
Factsheets:                                                        164     Bovine Johne’s disease (BJD)
148      Citrus industry information for commercial growers        166     Virus diseases of cucurbit crops
167      Black rot                                                 Gardennotes:
171      Basic backyard fruit growing trees                        48      Pet pests and their control
172      Basic deciduous fruit tree pruning for the small          124     Main diseases of vegetables in home garden
         landholder
                                                                   126     Main insect pests of vegetables in home gardens
Farmnotes:
                                                                   129     Main diseases of fruit trees in the home garden
81       Livestock identification and movement: sheep and
         goats                                                     130     Main pests of fruit in home gardens
119      Biosecurity in the livestock industries                   Miscellaneous Publications:
135      Livestock identification and movement : horses            Pestnote:
138      Livestock identification and movement : pigs              3/2005 Indian ringneck parakeet
139      Registering and updating a brand                          Publications not in a series:
146      Six-spotted mite                                          •	      Animal Health Laboratories – Service Manual 2006-07
147      Diseases of vegetable brassicas                           •	      Biosecurity checklist for sheep farms
                                                                   •	      National livestock exports mortality summary : 2005

				
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Description: Biosecurity in Agriculture