A biosecurity birthday milestone for Mickleham PEQ facility
Australia’s Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility in Mickleham turns one year old this week, providing an opportunity to celebrate its vital role in protecting the nation’s industries and environment from dangerous biosecurity pests and diseases.
The department’s Deputy Secretary responsible for biosecurity, Lyn O’Connell, said the facility is the cornerstone of Australian post entry quarantine and an important part of nation’s world-class biosecurity system.
“When we first opened our $379.9 million state-of-the-art PEQ facility last year, we further demonstrated our commitment to safeguarding the nation’s agriculture, environment and economy,” Ms O’Connell said.
“By effectively managing the biosecurity risks posed by imported animals and plants, the facility helps us ensure the productivity and sustainability of Australian agriculture is not impacted by exotic pests and diseases.
“It has been a busy first year, with around 1600 cats and 3600 dogs having undertaken post entry quarantine at Mickleham, to ensure they were healthy and not carrying any animal pests or diseases, such as rabies or Leishmaniasis.
“After making the long trip to Australia these animals must have been hungry, as more than 8000 kilograms of dog food and 1230 kilograms of cat food has been consumed since the facility opened.
“Hundreds of horses have also come through and the plant compound continues to fill up with various species of cultivars that are closely monitored by our biosecurity officers to ensure they are not carrying plant pests or diseases.
“Hard work has been undertaken to put measures in place to facilitate the import of bee genetics, which can be used to improve Australia’s local bee colonies’ resistance against significant bee pests, such as varroa mite.
“This is great news for our pollination dependant industries, with the benefits that commercial honey bees and native bees provide to these industries estimated to be worth $4-6 billion a year.”
To support further demand from clients, the facility will soon be expanded to increase its capacity for cat and dog imports, and new compounds will be built for imports of live birds, eggs and ruminants, such as alpacas.
The Mickleham PEQ facility will consolidate Australia’s entire existing post-entry quarantine animal and plant services into a single site to support greater efficiencies in operations. It was built close to the international airport, isolated from agricultural production areas and was designed to manage the biosecurity risks of the various species of animals and plant imported to Australia.
For more information visit Post entry quarantine facility.