20 Dec 2019
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has alerted livestock owners to a biosecurity risk, urging all to ensure hay and feed from south-east Queensland is free of red imported fire ants.
NSW DPI Invasive Plants and Animals director, Andrew Sanger, said the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program intercepted a truck carrying infested bales of uncertified hay, which had travelled hundreds of kilometres outside the fire ant biosecurity zone in Queensland.
“If stockfeed comes from a fire ant infested area, both the farmer and supplier need to ensure risk mitigation measures have been followed,” Dr Sanger said.
“Hay from the infested area must have a Plant Health Certificate which verifies it meets the strict conditions required to import hay into NSW from the fire ant biosecurity zone."
The Plant Health Certificate must certify:
Hay or straw bales must remain in conditions which prevent tramp ant infestation until arrival in NSW.
Hay produced within the south-east Queensland fire ant biosecurity zone must comply with these requirements.
Red imported fire ants pose a significant agricultural and environmental biosecurity risk. They are aggressive, highly-adaptive and well-equipped for survival in Australian conditions.
The National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program aims to eradicate the pest from Australia through a 10-year plan.
NSW biosecurity legislation has strict entry conditions for mulch, potted plants, turf and agricultural and earth moving equipment moving into NSW from the Queensland fire ant biosecurity zone.
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Media contact: Bernadette York 0427 773 785