Recent khapra beetle detection in a consignment of baby highchairs – update

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Despite a global increase in khapra beetle detections at international borders, the strength of our biosecurity system means Australia maintains freedom from this serious pest.

The department is currently managing a detection of khapra beetle associated with a contaminated container of imported baby highchairs.

The importer has been highly cooperative and the response demonstrates the strength of the Australian biosecurity system and the important role played by industry and the community.

All goods associated with this consignment are being traced to ensure they do not pose an ongoing biosecurity risk. Inspection and treatment of the sites and associated product are underway.

A response plan is now being developed with states and territories to establish ongoing monitoring at these locations to confirm Australia remains free of the pest.

The department has successfully managed an increased number of khapra beetle detections at the border this year, the majority in imported non-food goods that in the past have been categorised as low risk.

Each of these detections has been dealt with effectively.

A range of decisive measures are now being phased in to better safeguard our country from khapra, including stricter import conditions for goods that present a high risk to Australia’s biosecurity status.

Background

  • Khapra beetle is a serious pest of stored grain and dried food products.
  • Because khapra can also hitchhike in shipping containers, the department will implement additional changes to the management of container risks following industry consultation.
  • There have been occasional previous detections of khapra beetle in Australia associated with imported goods. In recent years, khapra beetle was found in plastic containers that arrived in Adelaide, South Australia in 2016. In 2018, an imported shipment of contaminated plastic beads was intercepted in Melbourne. The risk was successfully mitigated and the detections eradicated at both locations.
  • To report a biosecurity concern visit awe.gov.au/report or call 1800 798 636.
  • For more information on khapra beetle, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/plant/khapra-beetle
  • Previous media statements on khapra beetle detections were released on 14 August and 19 November.

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