Biosecurity risks with online Christmas shopping

NSW consumers are reminded to look out for unwanted exotic plant pests in packages received from overseas, which pose a threat to the state’s $15.7 billion primary industries.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Manager Plant Biosecurity Prevention & Preparedness, Chris Anderson, said it’s important for everyone to be aware and to report anything unusual.

“Online shopping, gifts from family and friends or imported items can easily harbour insect pests and diseases which could cause damage and threaten farming communities,” Dr Anderson said.

“If you are purchasing goods from overseas, especially seeds and items made from wood or organic material, check whether it can legally come into Australia.

“From exotic fruit flies, exotic drywood termites and invasive snails, the Australian Government lists the top 40 unwanted plant pests on its website.

“Australia is in the fortunate situation of being free of many significant pests that adversely affect agricultural production in other countries.

“Good biosecurity practices protect us all from the impacts of animal and plant pests, diseases and weeds.

“We all share the responsibility for managing biosecurity risks and together we can protect NSW’s strong economy, safe healthy food supply and unique natural environment.”

NSW DPI encourages people to report any signs of pests and diseases found in imported goods by calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881 or use the online form.

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