Working in the processing of products derived from plants or animals in Tasmania means that you have an important role to play in helping to protect your business, the broader industry and the state from the harmful impacts of pests, weeds and diseases. You also have an important role to play in protecting Tasmania’s global reputation for high quality, safe food and beverages.
Listed below are some biosecurity actions you can take to meet your General Biosecurity Duty (GBD) and to help keep your business - and Tasmania - biosecurity safe.
Develop a Biosecurity Plan
Developing and implementing an appropriate biosecurity plan for your business is a key step that you can take. Biosecurity plans should contain actions aimed at preventing the introduction or spread of pests, weeds and disease on the property you manage. They are also a good way to educate staff and visitors on the importance of biosecurity. There are many on-line resources to assist with this – the Farm Biosecurity website is a great starting point.
Important Biosecurity Actions
Biosecurity vigilance (also known as Notification of a Biosecurity Event)
If you SEE something on or in the plants, animals or derived products that you are processing, or at your processing site, that is unusual or of biosecurity concern, such as potential exotic plant/animal pests, weeds or diseases, or invasive animal species;
SECURE the site by restricting access (and limiting movement in the case of suspected animal diseases) AND take a photo, noting the location; and then
REPORT it to Biosecurity Tasmania as soon as possible.
Please note: Taking samples in the field may increase the risk of spreading the biosecurity risk so Biosecurity Tasmania will provide further instruction regarding possible sample collection and submission.
Livestock and other animals
At facilities dealing with live animals, such as dairies, regularly clean machinery and equipment and maintain personal hygiene procedures to prevent the transfer of disease between animals.
Report any sick or injured animals arriving at an animal processing facility as soon as practicable. For suspected notifiable emergency animal diseases, immediately call the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline and leave a message (see details below). For injured animals, contact Biosecurity Tasmania as soon as possible (see details below).
Ensure that unfit carcasses do not enter the production chain and are disposed of appropriately.
Registering your property with a Property Identification Code (PIC). Owners of a property with one or more head of cattle, sheep, goats or pigs, or that commercially farm poultry for meat or eggs, must apply for a PIC. Owners of properties with animals such as horses and alpacas, or that are engaging in any form of primary industries enterprise (including aquatic) are strongly encouraged to register for a PIC unless otherwise required. Your PIC should be updated at least bi-annually, or as your specific situation changes.
Pests, weeds and diseases
Ensure that visitors are made aware of any biosecurity requirements on your site, including completion of sign-in logs and the need for good vehicle, equipment, clothing and personal hygiene when travelling between sites.
Establish a dedicated visitor parking area, traffic route and visitor walking route to prevent unauthorised access to your operation.
Establish hygiene control points and maintain appropriate facility cleaning procedures to prevent pest and disease incursions.
Record inputs and outputs of plant and animal products to the site for traceability in the event of a pest or disease outbreak
Ensure that staff involved in the processing of food products are trained in hygiene procedures and maintain appropriate hygiene while handling products.
Ensure that AgVet chemicals are used as per label, or applicable off-label permit (i.e. appropriately to minimise risk to human health, animal health, plant health and the environment). Find out more about AgVet chemical use in Tasmania.
Ensure that all chemical and pharmaceutical withholding periods for crops and animals are strictly observed and that products exceeding tolerances are not permitted to be sold to consumers.
Importing items into Tasmania
Check the biosecurity requirements before you import any plants or plant products, livestock, laboratory animals and some animal products, including seeds, seedlings, rootstock, cuttings, microbiological cultures, insects and semen, as well as samples, including leaves, soil, blood/tissue or biological vectors/agents. You can do this via the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania (for plants and plant products), the Biosecurity Tasmania website (for animals or animal products) or by contacting Biosecurity Tasmania.
Ensure that imports are accompanied by any required certificates, permits or other documentation, that labelling is accurate and clearly marked ‘for Biosecurity Tasmania attention’, and that you notify Biosecurity Tasmania of the import at least 24hrs prior to arrival where required.
Take all reasonable and practicable measures to ensure that any items are clean and free of soil, seeds, plant material or pests prior to arrival. Plants and animals or their products may require inspection by Biosecurity Tasmania at the port or airport of arrival, or at an Approved Quarantine Premise (AQP). For more information, visit the website or contact Biosecurity Tasmania.
If you are importing equipment or machinery, you need to take all reasonable and practicable measures to ensure that they are cleaned and free of all soil, seeds and plant matter prior to arriving in Tasmania, as per Import Requirement 39 in the Plant Biosecurity Manual Tasmania. Some machinery, such as viticultural equipment, may have to meet additional import requirements.
Contact and reporting
Contact Biosecurity Tasmania for general information or to report a suspected pest, weed or disease:
Phone: (03) 6165 3777
Alternatively, for reporting pests, weeds or diseases, you can call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline (1800 084 881) or the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (1800 675 858).
Stay up to date on Biosecurity in Tasmania
Subscribing to get Tasmanian Biosecurity 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
Follow Biosecurity Tasmania on Facebook.
Please note that this information contains minimum recommendations only. The GBD requires a person dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier to take all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk associated with the dealing. Such measures may not be specified in any regulations, guidelines or other official publications.