The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) refused the German registered cargo ship Tatiana Schulte permission to enter Australia on Feb. 5. AQIS took the action following reports by the vessel master of burnt pine longicorn beetle on the ship.
The burnt pine longicorn beetle is an exotic timber pest that poses a serious threat to Australia’s timber industries and native forests. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Deputy Secretary Rona Mellor said it was a clear example that Australia’s quarantine systems work to protect our country’s biosecurity.
The pest causes damage to pine tree timber commonly used for construction, by tunnelling in the wood, which significantly reduces the quality. “AQIS has well established procedures for dealing with this type of risk,” Mellor said. “In 2004, AQIS turned away another cargo vessel arriving from New Zealand following a similar detection of this serious quarantine risk.”