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Biosecurity keeping Tassie safe at Agfest

Agfest is just around the corner (7-9 May) and with the focus on agriculture, NRM South is reminding landholders and visitors to the state of the importance of simple biosecurity measures such as cleaning footware, vehicles and gear.

At Agfest, NRM South in conjunction with Landcare Tasmania, Biosecurity Tasmania/DPIPWE and the Livestock Biosecurity Network will be providing information and resources focused on biosecurity. This information will help people from inadvertently spreading weeds, pests and pathogens through their work and through recreational activities, with the goal of reducing the risks to agriculture and the environment.

The message is that biosecurity doesn’t stop at the airport and good practices have an important role in keeping Tassie’s relatively weed, pest and disease-free status upon which our agriculture, fisheries and tourism industries rely.

NRM South’s Dr Magali Wright says “This is an important issue because the introduction of new weeds, pests or pathogens to an area can have a huge negative impact on both agriculture and the environment.

In Tasmania, our relative absence of weeds, pests and pathogens, benefits both the tourism and agricultural industries and also reduces the amount of work land managers need to do. It is much easier to prevent the spread of these organisms rather than deal with infestation and infections once they take hold.

“We will be talking to attendees about Checking, Cleaning and Drying (and if they can’t Dry, Disinfecting) their gear before enjoying time in the bush or visiting farms. Mud, water, soil and plant or animal material can carry weeds, pests and pathogens that threaten Tasmania’s agriculture, fisheries and natural landscapes and by using these simple methods people can stop help stop the spread.”

NRM South will be providing advice and resources for how to apply the Check, Clean (Disinfect), Dry practices for different recreational and work activities and will also be running a survey competition related to biosecurity, with some great prizes to be won. It can be found here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MGQT9P9 and closes 11 June, 2015.

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