The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is to implement urgent actions to address the risk of Khapra beetle on high-risk plant products entering the country.
Khapra beetle is not present in Australia, but it is a highly invasive pest that poses a major threat to Australia’s grains industry. The global spread of Khapra beetle is increasing and it is being detected on a wide range of plant products and as a hitchhiker pest on containers. The authorities say that if Khapra beetle enters Australia it would have significant economic consequences. An outbreak could cost Australia $15.5 billion over 20 years through revenue losses arising from damaged grain in storage and exports.
Under the new regulations, high risk plant products, including rice, chickpeas, wheat, peanuts and a wide range of other seeds and beans, will be reexported or destroyed if found in consignments of unaccompanied personal effects.
Khapra Beetle Pest Bulletin
Photo: Khapra beetle