Big steps to increase biosecurity
AUSTRALIA is taking steps to strengthen its plant biosecurity measures, with the release of a comprehensive analysis of a significant plant biosecurity risk to better inform future plant import conditions.
Acting Head of Biosecurity Plant Division with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Robyn Cleland said the final group pest risk analysis (PRA) for thrips and orthotospoviruses, plays an important part in managing the risk of these emerging plant pests arriving in Australia.
“Australia’s biosecurity system safeguards our environment and industries from pests and diseases, but it is important to continue looking at ways to strengthen the measures we have in place,” Dr Cleland said.
“Thrips are small insects that can cause significant damage to plants. They can transmit orthotospoviruses, which damage a wide range of fruit, vegetable, legume and ornamental crops.
“They could arrive in Australia on imported plant material and significantly impact our plant health, as well as the productivity and sustainability of our $9 billion horticulture industry.”