THE brown marmorated stink bug is at the gates, with “a large number” of live insects detected on cargo coming in to the country recently, according to a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) official.
Speaking at the CBFCA National Conference 2018 in Sydney, DAWR assistant secretary, compliance controls, Dean Merrilees said BMSB was definitely on the move and the department was monitoring it closely.
He was responding to a question from a delegate, asking if there was an expansion of target countries on the cards.
“I’m very conscious that last season we had four changes in policy around BMSB in short order,” Mr Merrilees said
He said the department was particularly sensitive about the disruption such changes causes industry and trade generally.
“I can share with you that we are looking very very closely at the moment at a couple of very major trading partners, which are China, and Korea,” he said.
“We are dealing with some cargo at the moment that has come from those two countries in the last day or two, and it has a large number of live BMSB on it.”
Mr Merrilees said the infested cargo didn’t necessarily mean a shift in policy.
“But, the level of infestation that cargo means we are going to have a very hard look at certain parcels of cargo from those countries.”
Currently, target-risk countries include: the US, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Georgia and Japan.
Source credit: The DCN