Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Australia’s Biosecurity – Ultra Important – Giant African Snail

We laugh [or is it cry?] about the cane toad, that attempt at biocontrol that has become the pernicious invader across north Australia, and even more recently into some parts of Sydney.
There are also biosecurity concerns about various ant species, wild Asian honey bees [ potential host for varroa disease of domestic bees] and numerous weed species that can be hitchhikers into north Australia.

Spare a thought for Florida, USA.  Apart from some crazies who released Burmese pythons into the everglades that have now become quite a serious pest there, the current threat is African Giant Snail.

It seems someone has seriously dropped the ball – was thought to have been eradicated in Miami-Dade County where it is now appearing widely, some years ago.  We are talking of over 100,000 of the creatures captured and killed recently – and there seem to be a lot more coming as the weather warms.
This pest would be a serious, serious, serious problem in Australia if it ever got out of biosecurity measures.  A major one of the methods is container hygiene, along with soil freedom and with rigorous in country pre export as well as post entry inspections, hopefully it might remain as “not here”.

There are a few current newspaper and media reports about the Florida situation – be alert, but not alarmed!



Any suspected sightings in Australia – get in touch with AQIS.  Better still, take care to avoid soil on equipment and shoes, and never – repeat never, bring snail or snail shells into Australia.  Take care.

No comments: