Lettuce import moratorium from Tasmania partially lifted

16 April 2004
DAFF04/9D


A two-week moratorium on interstate trade in lettuce from Tasmania after the discovery of currant-lettuce aphid on a number of properties has been partially lifted.

The Commonwealth Chief Plant Protection Officer, Graeme Hamilton, said trade in fancy leaf lettuce varieties from Houston’s Farm, Cambridge Tasmania, would be allowed to commence again to the mainland due to the validation of management systems ensuring product is free from aphids. The moratorium on heart lettuce varieties will remain in place.

There is not a Tasmanian trade in other known currant lettuce aphid host material. The trade of lettuce under these protocols will effectively mitigate the risk of spread of this pest on host material to the mainland.

The decision was made by Australian Government and State officials, and vegetable industry representatives.

The quality assurance protocol will be audited for a four-week period, after which the data will be collated and analysed for any fine-tuning of the protocol.

Dr Hamilton said surveys are being conducted on the mainland to determine if aphids had spread further a field. To date no evidence has been found to suggest it has spread beyond Tasmania.

Media contact:

Dr Graeme Hamilton
Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
DAFF Media +61 2 6272 3232