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Adequacy of Australia’s biosecurity measures and response preparedness, in particular with respect to foot-and-mouth disease and varroa mite

Plant diseases Livestock Food industry and trade Imports Disease management Border security Biosecurity Australia

On 28 July 2022, the following matters were referred to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee (the committee) for inquiry and report by 10 October 2022:

(a) the adequacy of Australia 's biosecurity measures and response preparedness, in particular with respect to foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and varroa mite;

(b) response to and implementation of previous reports into biosecurity; and any related matters.

This report addresses the committee's terms of reference and comprises six chapters, including this introductory and overview chapter, with the remaining chapters broadly discussing issues along the incursion continuum, moving from offshore to onshore measures as follows:

  • Chapter 2 Current threats and incursions, FMD, LSD and varroa mite— outlines current threats from FMD and lumpy skin disease (LSD) and details Australia's response to the 2022 varroa mite incursion in New South Wales (NSW). The chapter includes an introduction to the diseases and mites, and discusses risks and impacts for Australia;
  • Chapter 3 Incursion prevention measures—outlines incursion prevention measures, in particular offshore and at border measures taken to prevent diseases and pests entering Australia;
  • Chapter 4 On-shore surveillance—discusses on-shore surveillance measures including for animal diseases and in relation to bees and bee pests, including the effectiveness of these measures;
  • Chapter 5 Incursion preparedness—discusses Australia's preparedness for a disease or pest incursion preparedness, with a particular focus on the implementation of measures aimed at preventing the spread of FMD, LSD and varroa mite;
  • Chapter 6 Reforming the biosecurity system—outlines previous reviews into Australia's biosecurity system, and the government's response to these reviews and recommendations. Broad issues which cut across the continuum, such as funding and the need for urgency, are also discussed in this chapter.
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