White Spot – Let’s keep it out of NSW

Ed, I would like to encourage communities to play a role to ensure NSW remains free of White Spot. The NSW Department of Primary Industries is working to minimise the spread of White Spot, which was detected in prawns in South East Queensland in December. White Spot is a highly contagious viral disease of crustaceans, primarily prawns, but also crabs, lobsters and freshwater crayfish as well as marine worms. There are three things communities should know: 1. NSW seafood remains safe to consume. 2. Do not use prawns intended for human consumption as bait in any NSW waters. 3. Obey the current ban on importation from the affected area in Queensland of prawns, nippers, yabbies and other crustaceans or marine worms to prevent White Spot Disease being introduced into NSW. So far there has been no evidence of White Spot in NSW and we are doing everything possible to keep it that way, but we need the community’s help. DPI has instigated a surveillance program and sampled prawns from the Queensland border to the Hawkesbury and all prawn farms in NSW. We have a new Biosecurity Act in place where all members of the community have a general biosecurity duty to consider how actions could have a negative impact on another person, business, animal or the environment. We need everyone to play a role to ensure White Spot does not enter our state. For more information about White Spot, visit DPI’s website. Dr Christine Middlemiss NSW Chief Veterinary Officer NSW Department of Primary Industries