General Biosecurity Duty
The general biosecurity duty can apply to anyone. It provides that any person who deals with biosecurity matter or a carrier, who knows (or ought reasonably to know) of the biosecurity risk posed (or likely to be posed), has a biosecurity duty to ensure that the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised – so far as is reasonably practicable.
Reasonably practicable is used in relation to the prevention, elimination or minimisation of biosecurity risks.What is reasonably practicable means that which is reasonably able to be done, taking into account and weighing up all relevant matters including the nature of the biosecurity risk concerned, the availability and suitability of ways to manage the biosecurity risk concerned, and the cost involved.
There are several biosecurity duties imposed under the Biosecurity Act in relation to specified persons. These include:
- a duty to take action when dealing with biosecurity matters or carriers
- a requirement to notify a prohibited matter eventa requirement to prevent, eliminate or minimise a risk posed by prohibited matter
- a duty to notify an suspected or existing biosecurity event
Biosecurity duties are non-transferable, although more than one person can have the same biosecurity duty. A person can also have more than one duty
Biosecurity matter is:
- any living thing, part of a living thing or product of a living thing (other than a human), or
- a disease, prion or contaminant, or
- a disease agent that can cause disease in a living thing (other than a human) or that can cause disease in a human via transmission from a non-human host(i.e. zoonosis)
A control order is an order made by the Minister (or delegate) that establishes one or more zones to prevent, eliminate, minimise or otherwise manage a biosecurity risk or biosecurity impact.
Generally, a control order will be made to prevent the introduction of, or to eradicate, particular biosecurity matter.
A control order can be made quickly so that a timely response can be mounted to a biosecurity risk or impact that does not require an emergency response, or while longer term management arrangements are being developed.
For example, a control order could require containment, treatment or disposal of soil, stock, plants or products from a contaminated area, to prevent the contaminant entering the human food chain. It could prohibit grazing or, plant and livestock production on the contaminated area, and require decontamination actions such as removal or deep burial.
A control order can remain in place for up to five years. If it is clear that longer term management is required, a biosecurity zone could be established.
Mandatory measures are requirements set out in regulation for a person who deals with biosecurity matter or carriers to take specified actions to prevent, eliminate or minimise a biosecurity risk posed or likely to be posed by the biosecurity matter, carrier or dealing.
A biosecurity impact is an adverse effect on the economy, environment or the community that arises, or has the potential to arise, from biosecurity matter or a carrier and that relates to
- the introduction, presence, spread or increase of a disease, disease agent or pest
- stock food, fertilisers, liming materials and trace element products,
- animals, plants or animal products becoming chemically affected,
- risk to public safety caused by bees or non-indigenous animals.
If the adverse effect on the economy, environment or the community does not relate to any of the above things, then it is not a biosecurity impact.
A biosecurity risk is the risk of a biosecurity impact occurring (see above for the definition of biosecurity impact).
A biosecurity zone is established by regulation and its purpose is to prevent, eliminate, minimise or other wise manage a biosecurity risk or biosecurity impact. Generally, a biosecurity zone will apply to a specified part, or parts of NSW.
A biosecurity zone will be used to provide for the long term management of a particular biosecurity risk or biosecurity impact.
A carrier means anything (whether alive, dead or inanimate, and including a human) that has, or is capable of having any biosecurity matter on it, attached to it, or contained in it. The carrier may not itself be affected by the biosecurity matter. Carriers may include plants and animals (whether living or dead), soil, turf, and soil improving products such as recycle waste and other matter, inanimate objects (such as vehicles, production equipment and coverings) or humans.
Prohibited matter is biosecurity matter that is listed in Schedule 2 of the Biosecurity Act.This listed matter is biosecurity matter that could have significant adverse consequences to the economy, environment or community. Examples of prohibited matter include foot and mouth disease, highly pathogenic avian influenza, citrus canker, and parthenium weed.
Notification obligations apply with respect to prohibited matter. It is also an offence to deal with prohibited matter.
Dealing is used in the context of ‘dealing with’ biosecurity matter or a carrier or to ‘engage in a dealing’.A Dealing can include to keep, possess, care for, have custody of, control, produce, manufacture, supply, import, acquire, buy, sell, dispose of, move, release, use, treat, breed, propagate, grow, raise, feed, culture, experiment with, display, enter into an agreement that deals with, agree to deal with, and/or cause or permit a dealing.