Plant pest surveillance activities are critical to the Australian and New Zealand agriculture and the biosecurity systems that protect them. Surveillance activities provide benefits to agricultural industries, the community and the environment.
‘Surveillance’ is a system of making and recording checks or inspections for plant pests (a broad term that refers to invertebrates and pathogens that negatively impact plants, plant products, bees, or edible fungi). Plant pests are estimated to cause losses of 20-40% every year, highlighting the significant impact they have on food production, food security, the natural environment and ecosystems.
Australia and New Zealand remain free of many pests that cause problems in other countries. This is due to geographic isolation and effective quarantine measures to date. Despite having strong biosecurity systems in place, increasing volumes of trade and people movement means there’s an ever-increasing risk of introduction of new pests.
Surveillance activities support:
Surveillance is mostly carried out by state governments, but the Australian Government, peak industry bodies, environmental agencies, growers and the Australian community is also involved.
For further information, the National Plant Biosecurity Status Report provides a comprehensive summary of Australia’s biosecurity system, including its surveillance components.