15 October 2015
This Biosecurity Advice notifies stakeholders that a final risk analysis report has been issued for the release of the cochineal insect Dactylopius tomentosus ‘fulgida’ biotype for the biological control of coral cactus (Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata). The final report recommends that release of Dactylopius tomentosus ‘fulgida’ biotype should be permitted, subject to standard quarantine conditions associated with the import and release of biological control agents.
The final report takes into consideration submissions received by stakeholders on the draft report released in July 2015.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has issued a final risk analysis report assessing an application from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland and the NSW Department of Primary Industries to release the cochineal insect Dactylopius tomentosus ‘fulgida’ biotype for the biological control of coral cactus (Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata).
A preliminary draft of this report was distributed to state and territory departments of primary industry and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) through the Plant Health Committee (PHC). Comments received via this consultation process were incorporated into the draft risk analysis report.
A draft risk analysis report was released for a 30 day stakeholder consultation period on 1 July 2015. Written submissions from two stakeholders were considered in the preparation of the final report. Both submissions raised no objections to the draft recommendation to allow release of Dactylopius tomentosus ‘fulgida’ biotype.
The Department of the Environment also has an approval process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. Under Section 303EE (4) of the EPBC Act, risk analysis reports prepared by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources may be used by the Environment Minister in making a determination to include the item on the List of specimens suitable for live import (the live import list). The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has consulted with the Department of the Environment prior to the release of the final report and the Department of the Environment agrees with the recommendations in this report.
The final report recommends that the biological control agent should be released. The report has determined that the probability of off-target effects and potential consequences that would be associated with the release of Dactylopius tomentosus ‘fulgida’ biotype have been estimated to be negligible. A risk estimate of negligible meets Australia’s appropriate level of protection (ALOP).
The final report, attachment and information about the risk analysis process are available at Biologicial Control Agents.
Louise van Meurs
A/g First Assistant Secretary
Contact: David Heinrich
Telephone: +61 2 6272 3220
Facsimile: +61 2 6272 3307