NSW now free of White Spot Disease

A White Spot outbreak has successfully been contained in Northern NSW, with results confirming the estuary surrounding an infected premises is clear of the disease.

Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the swift and effective response in the eradication of this disease reiterates the strength of the NSW Government’s biosecurity practices.

“The moment White Spot was detected in farmed Black Tiger Prawns at a production facility last month, the NSW Government immediately convened an emergency response,” Mr Saunders said.

“We quickly implemented formal measures to contain the disease and prevent further spread from the facility, including the destruction of stock and decontamination of equipment, and we also undertook tracing and surveillance to determine possible routes of entry into NSW.

“The result we’re seeing today highlights the importance and effectiveness of the biosecurity measures put in place by the NSW Liberals and Nationals in Government, and confirms our preparedness for any future disease incursions.”

Risk mitigation strategies, including movement restrictions, have been in place in NSW since White Spot was first detected in south east Queensland in 2016.

Mr Saunders said the response demonstrates the success of the relationship between government, commercial and recreational fishing groups, and the aquaculture and bait industries.

“It is testament to everyone working together to rapidly identify, contain and eliminate the risk of White Spot.

“I congratulate everyone involved in this successful outcome and take the opportunity to remind people of the importance of on-farm biosecurity practices in detecting and containing a potential disease outbreak.

“Recreational fishers should never use prawns or other seafood for human consumption as bait. Bait can be responsibly sourced from reputable bait suppliers or collected from the local area where you are fishing.

“Biosecurity is a shared responsibility and we all need to play our part.”

While White Spot is highly contagious to crustaceans and can cause major mortalities in farmed prawns, it poses no threat to human health or safety and prawns and seafood for sale in the marketplace remain safe to eat.

“Seafood is an Australian staple, and with summer quickly approaching, now is the time to get to your local co-op, buy some fresh prawns and support the industry.”

DPI is continuing its investigations to determine the source of the initial detection.

For more information visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/white-spot

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