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Quarantine Halts Four Agricultural Risks

Quarantine Halts Four Agricultural Risks

The vital importance of Australia’s strong border protection has again been demonstrated by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), which this week intercepted four serious invaders with the potential to threaten our environment and agriculture industries, Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Warren Truss said today.

Over the past week:

- AQIS officers in Melbourne have found Asian tiger mosquitoes in a consignment of “lucky bamboo’ plants from China;

- AQIS officers in Perth have found birds’ nests, eggs and plant contamination in agricultural machinery from the United States;

- AQIS officers in Brisbane have found exotic crazy ants in used crane equipment from Thailand; and

- AQIS plant scientists in Victoria have found an exotic fungus on imported conifer plants at Melbourne’s Knoxfield plant quarantine station.

“Each of these four detections averted a potential disaster for Australia’s agriculture industries or native plants and animals and I congratulate AQIS officers on their vigilance,” Mr Truss said.

“The Asian tiger mosquitoes found at the border in Melbourne are carriers of a number of diseases, including dengue fever.

“The birds’ nests, eggs, seeds, leaves and straw found on balers from the USA could have introduced exotic weed seeds, fungus spores, bacteria or viruses. The birds’ nests and eggs could have carried exotic strains of Newcastle disease or avian influenza ¡X which could devastate our native birds as well as our poultry industries.

“The crazy ants found in border inspections in Brisbane are serious pests which are highly competitive and could take over the habitats of native Australian ants.


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