Abalone viral ganglioneuritis (AVG)

Diseased abalone displaying AVG symptoms


NSW DPI is committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of NSW abalone populations, associated industries and the environment. To manage the potential risk of impacts of Abalone Viral Ganglioneuritis (AVG) on NSW wild abalone, NSW DPI introduced the Biosecurity (Abalone viral ganglioneuritis) Control Order. The Biosecurity Control Order allows movement of live abalone within NSW and outlines the conditions for any person in NSW who deals with abalone or carriers of the virus that causes AVG.

Biosecurity (Abalone viral ganglioneuritis) Control Order (No.4) 2021 is valid from 7 December 2021 for 2 years and supports the movement into NSW of live abalone from Eastern Zone Victoria, Tasmanian land-based abalone farms and all other Australian abalone jurisdictions.

Restrictions continue to apply to live Tasmanian and Victorian western and central zone wild caught abalone, and Victorian farmed abalone.

Movements of live abalone into NSW are now allowed under specified conditions from Tasmanian land-based abalone farms and the Victorian eastern abalone zone wild harvest fishery.

Any abalone imported into NSW must not:

  • have come into contact with wild caught Tasmanian, Victorian central or western zone abalone, or
  • have come into contact with Victorian farmed abalone, or
  • have come into contact with associated holding water or fittings, or
  • been processed in an abalone processor were high risk abalone are processed unless the processor is operating in accordance with mitigation measures outlined in Schedule 3.

Fittings used in connection with live abalone from wild Tasmanian, Victorian central or western zone, or Victorian farmed abalone must not be moved into NSW unless they have been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.

All abalone waste water moved into NSW that has been in contact with live abalone from outside the NSW wild abalone fishery or Victorian eastern zone abalone fishery must be disposed of directly to the sewer.

An online Record of Movement (Abalone) form must be completed for all movements of Tasmanian farmed abalone.

The movement of abalone under this control order will be subject to conditions ensuring appropriate biosecurity measures and the safe movement of live abalone taken from NSW waters.

The control order is in place to ensure appropriate biosecurity is maintained in relation to storage, handling and disposal of live abalone and waste products.

AVG is not known to occur in wild abalone stocks in NSW.

There is no evidence that AVG has any effect on human health.

Further Information

Enquiries in relation to the current control order, permits and individual biosecurity directions can be emailed to aquatic.biosecurity@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

See the public notice Conditions for the trade of interstate live abalone into NSW for more information on the current control order.

Abalone divers should refer to Decontamination processes for commercial Abalone divers: Standard operating procedure for biosecurity best practise guidelines to protect the industry from AVG.

General biosecurity duty

Under biosecurity legislation (NSW Biosecurity Act 2015) people are expected to have a basic level of knowledge about the biosecurity risks they might encounter in their normal work and recreational activities. All community members have a general biosecurity duty to consider how actions, or in some cases lack of action, could have a negative impact on another person, business enterprise, animal or the environment. We must then take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent or minimise the potential impact.

AVG is listed as a prohibited matter under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015. This means it is illegal to buy, sell or move the disease or infected abalone. It is required by law to notify Aquatic Biosecurity of any suspicion of AVG on 1800 675 888.

What is AVG?

AVG is a viral disease which affects the nervous system of abalone and results in curling of the foot, swelling of the mouth, weakness and death of abalone.

AVG affects both blacklip and greenlip abalone and hybrids. AVG is not known to occur in wild abalone stocks in NSW. There is no evidence that AVG has any effect on human health.

The community is encouraged to report any observations of sick, dying or dead abalone.

Important information for consumers

Help protect NSW abalone stocks!

Imported abalone can potentially pose a risk to NSW abalone stocks.

To help reduce this risk please:

Report observations of sick or diseased abalone to the 24-hour Emergency Animal Diseases (EAD) Hotline on 1800 675 888.

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