News

Protecting South Australia's oyster industry from POMS

Friday 5 February 2016
A mandatory ban on the movement of Pacific oysters and equipment associated with oyster farming across South Australia has been implemented to protect the state’s valuable oyster industry.

PIRSA’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Roger Paskin advised that the State Government has now issued a Livestock Order Notice following the detection of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) in Tasmania last week.

This follows a voluntary industry-imposed standstill implemented earlier this week.

Dr Paskin emphasised there is no threat to human health through the consumption of oysters purchased for sale, with table oysters still being processed for human consumption.

“The advice I have received from the local industry is that there will NOT be a shortage of oyster supplies to food retailers due to the Tasmanian outbreak,” he said.

The Livestock Order Notice will remain in place for the next seven days.

Dr Paskin said officers from Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) have been working in close collaboration with the local oyster industry in recent days to minimise the risk of the disease to South Australian oyster farms.

“The local industry and our officers have been working very closely with in ensuring various protective measures were put in place as quickly as possible,” he said. “This has included the precautionary ban on the importation of Tasmanian oyster seed stock and the movement of oysters associated with farming production across the state,” he said.

“PIRSA and industry are also working closely together in undertaking precautionary testing of oysters from farms who received seed stock from Tasmanian accredited hatcheries in the past week.

“These various biosecurity precautions are the result of years of joint planning by industry and government being put into effect so rapidly.”
Dr Paskin said it was important to note that POMS only affects Pacific Oysters.

“As a result, PIRSA and the industry have also worked together in recent years to ensure the diversification of our oyster product with the development of native flat oyster (Ostrea angasi) farming in South Australia,” he said.

“This diversification is also helping to protect our industry against POMS.
“These strategies which PIRSA and the industry have jointly developed and acted upon will put the South Australian industry in good stead against the latest detection of the disease in Australia.”

Read more information on POMS

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