Australia: Prawn quarantine measures strengthened Published: 24 July, 2007
Imports of highly processed prawns will be allowed
AUSTRALIA has announced that it is strengthening quarantine measures for imported prawns.
Australian Fisheries Minister, Senator Eric Abetz, said the revised quarantine measures announced today by Biosecurity Australia are intended to reduce the quarantine risk in relation to diseases of quarantine concern to Australia.
These prawn diseases are not a human health concern, but are of concern to Australias fisheries and aquaculture, the Minister said. Biosecurity Australia has assessed that new measures are required to protect Australias prawn stocks from the risk of disease being introduced.
The most significant changes mean imports will need to come from sources recognised by Australia as free from diseases of concern, or be tested for a wider range of diseases if not from a disease-free source. Alternatively, imports will be allowed if the prawns are highly processed such as breaded, battered or marinated or are cooked.
Australia currently imports prawns under quarantine controls that were imposed in 2000 and strengthened in 2001.
Australia takes a science-based and conservative approach to quarantine risk, the Minister said.
These stronger quarantine measures reflect this approach and follow the release of a draft import risk analysis late last year by Biosecurity Australia and the consideration of over 50 submissions received in response to that draft.
The new quarantine measures are being put in place while work continues to finalise this import risk analysis.
The final report will be reviewed by an independent Eminent Scientists Group and then be open to appeal.
Existing holders of import permits will be notified directly by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service regarding the implementation of quarantine requirements.
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