Vinehealth Australia issues outbreak Alert



Further to the Biosecurity Alert issued byVinehealth Australia on 7 December advising that PIRSA had declared an outbreak of Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly) in Loxton, this Alert is to update the wine industry on the conditions for movement of wine grapes grown in and transiting through the fruit fly affected area in Loxton.

The fruit fly affected area is broken up into:

  • Outbreak area – 1.5km radius around the location of the Q-fly detections, and
  • Suspension area – 1.5km to 15km radius around the location of the Q-fly detections.

Map of the Loxton outbreak area:

Map of the Loxton suspension area:

South Australia is the only mainland Australian state that is fruit fly free. While this outbreak does not impact the fruit fly status of the rest of the Riverland Pest Free Area or the state, it is important that the risk of spread is minimised by placing controls on produce grown in the outbreak and suspension areas, in addition to a comprehensive eradication program currently being undertaken in the fruit fly affected area.

Consequently, given that wine grapes are a host for Q-fly, conditions have been placed on the movement of wine grapes grown in the outbreak and suspension areas. It is mandatory that growers, wineries and carriers comply with these conditions, as the strength of Australia’s biosecurity system and the response measures put in place in the event of an outbreak of fruit fly underpin ongoing access to lucrative export markets for our horticultural produce.

There is a strong emphasis on implementing control measures during this outbreak. This is because:

  • Interactions with export markets for the Riverland Pest Free Area have changed significantly since 2014. The past four years have seen an increase in export markets for produce from the Riverland Pest Free Area, in particular the recognition of the region’s pest-free status by China. The value of trade has increased significantly as a result and it is estimated by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) that the value will continue to increase in future years. That increase in value comes with increased scrutiny and oversight.
  • In addition to the above, national scrutiny has been further heightened following the fruit fly outbreaks in Tasmania, Western Australia and parts of South Australia during 2018.
  • One of the outcomes of this increased scrutiny is the need to provide more robust assurances to DAWR and trading partners that the potential for spread of fruit fly through transportation of host material is being effectively managed.

The conditions that must be complied with for the movement of wine grapes grown in either the outbreak or suspension area are detailed below. These conditions will be in force until at least 11 March 2019. Any extension to the date for compliance with these conditions will be communicated to industry accordingly.

PIRSA is responsible for managing the response to the outbreak, accreditation systems and ensuring compliance with conditions imposed on the movement of wine grapes grown in and transiting through the outbreak and suspension areas.

Movement conditions for wine grapes grown in and transiting through the outbreak and suspension areas as advised by PIRSA

Click here to read the full Biosecurity Alert from Vinehealth Australia which includes requirements for grape growers, wineries and carriers.

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