by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
TAS Country : January 27th 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011 Tasmanian Country 7 Opinion Safeguards serve state well Tasmania has a lot to protect and biosecurity is much more important here than elsewhere around the globe. One of the goals of the abalone group is to get the disease under control and make sure that the problem hasn't or doesn't spread' CHEWS theFAT David Byard READY ROOM: Primary Industries and Water Minister Bryan Green talks to Mary Bennet of BioSIRT, left, abalone bio security officer Travis Baulch and tracing co-ordinatior Karen Bailey at the State Disease Control Centre in Burnie. TASMANIA is very fortunate not to have some of the pests and diseases that are common in other countries. The relative freedom from pests and diseases gives Tasmania a market and production advantage relative to other states and international suppliers. Biosecurity is a set of measures that can be set in place at a national, regional or farm level to contain or prevent the incursion of an exotic disease or pest. But one small outbreak of something like foot and mouth disease would cause all sorts of problems including cessation of international trade for Australia's livestock industry. If a disease is found, authorities must work quickly to try and deal with the problem. To this end DPIPWE has a trained unit that will step up as soon as a problem is identified. A room has been set up in Hobart with all the furniture, phone lines and computer ports needed to establish an incident command centre. In fact DPIPWE has 130 odd people trained for such an emergency, 40 of them are technical specialists in areas such as pathology, epidemiology, agronomy, veterinary science, entomology, logistics, records, media and law. Tasmania is currently facing a problem -- abalone viral ganglioneuritis -- which gives a bird's- eye view of what actually happens when a highly trained taskforce is mobilised. When I visited the bunker last week, it was in full swing with 17 people engrossed in their given functions. They included an expert in fish disease, people who trace the movements of abalone from the affected areas and a host of support staff directing operations, maintaining records and managing logistics. The Tasmanian Government currently has 25 people employed on the infected farm trying to empty 700 tanks full of abalone and sea water. Their main aim is to prevent the contamination of the surrounding marine environment. Divers are also employed to check and sample outlet pipes to see if there are any problems there. Once the abalone has been removed from the tanks it will make it much easier to clean and sterilise them. Special permission has been granted so the salt water from the tanks can be pumped onto adjacent paddocks. Abalone farms and processors have been regularly discharging waste into the ocean and low levels of the virus have been detected in some wild abalone. Comparisons are being made with the low levels of the virus found in wild stocks and the problem with the abalone on farms. What they are trying to establish is whether the virus is the same strain found on the farm as the one in the wild. In fact, thousands of samples have been taken and analysed at Mount Pleasant and Geelong. It seems something has triggered the outbreak in abalone and hopefully the cause will be found. However, even the tests can be very difficult to interpret. One vet seems to think it may be like a cold sore -- one can carry the disease without knowing or even displaying symptoms -- then some sort of stress may trigger an outbreak. In the case of abalone, it may be possible that it carries the virus until some sort of trigger sets it off. One of the goals of the abalone group is to get the disease under control and make sure that the problem hasn't or doesn't spread. To this end all outlets have been closed off and no discharge is going into the sea. And the farm has been quarantined. The problem may take weeks or even months to resolve. Abalone have a history of disease. In 2006, there was an outbreak in Victoria's wild population and Tasmania had a small outbreak in 2008. The abalone industry is worth about $100 million to the Tasmanian economy prior to processing and unlike some other industries there isn't a cost-sharing agreement with the Federal Government when a disease outbreak occurs. While the whole exercise is a terrible worry for the people involved, it is heartening to see the efficient manner that the taskforce has operated. KUBOTA S EXTENDED FESTIVE SEASON FINANCE! NOW UNTIL 28 FEB Offer applies to tractors delivered before 28 February and is subject to stock availability. *Based on 30% equity, 36 equal monthly repayments, no balloon on a chattel mortgage to approved business applicants only. Terms, fee and conditions apply. Burnie 6431 3255 Devonport 6424 1511 Hobart 6263 6377 Launceston 6343 1633 Smithton 6452 1222 Just 4.95%* Finance on Kubota Tractors 34 to 135 HP only p.a.
January 13th 2011
February 3rd 2011