Group pest risk analysis for scale insects
Draft group pest risk analysis for soft and hard scale insects on fresh fruit, vegetable, cut-flower and foliage imports
Consultation on the draft group pest risk analysis (PRA) for soft and hard scale insects on fresh fruit, vegetable, cut-flower and foliage imports has now closed.
When we do a group pest risk analysis, we:
- review the available scientific knowledge on the pest group, including pest interception data and previous PRAs, to provide an overarching analysis of the risks posed by the group
- assess and analyse biosecurity risks
- propose risk management measures to achieve Australia’s appropriate level of protection, if required
- consult the public on the draft group PRA and then review stakeholder comments
- publish the final group PRA and issue a biosecurity advice.
About the group pest risk analysis
We are improving the effectiveness and consistency of the PRA process. A key step in this improvement is the development of the group PRA, which considers the biosecurity risk posed by a group of pests across numerous import pathways.
Organisms are grouped if they share common biological characteristics, and, as a result, also have similar likelihoods of entry, establishment and spread, and comparable consequences. Thus, posing a similar level of biosecurity risk.
We will use the finalised group PRA to identify risk management measures and alternative risk management options. These may be considered on a case-by-case basis when developing new import conditions for specific commodities or reviewing existing import conditions that are currently traded.
This is the third group PRA to be released for public consultation. Group PRAs for thrips and orthotospoviruses, and for mealybugs and the viruses they transmit were finalised in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Summary of the draft report
We released the draft report on 6 November 2020 for a 90-calendar day public consultation period, which closed on 4 February 2021.
Scale insects can cause considerable economic impacts across a range of crops by reducing yield, quality and marketability.
This group PRA considered the biosecurity risks posed by all members of the family Coccidae (soft scales) and the family Diaspididae (hard scales) in the insect order Hemiptera on fresh fruit, vegetable, cut-flower and foliage imports. In addition, this group PRA reviewed all plant viruses transmitted by the soft and hard scales.
This group PRA identified the key quarantine pests of biosecurity importance to Australia in these two families of organisms.
- 243 species of soft scale insects were identified as quarantine pests for Australia, including:
- nine species that are pests of regional concern for Western Australia
- one species that is a pest of regional concern for New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.
- 331 species of hard scale insects were identified as quarantine pests for Australia, including:
- two species that are pests of regional concern for the Northern Territory
- 29 species that are pests of regional concern for Western Australia
- one species that is a pest of regional concern for the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.
- No plant viruses of biosecurity concern were identified as being transmitted by soft and hard scale insects.
Risk management measures
The unrestricted indicative risk estimates for scale insect quarantine pests was assessed as ‘Low’, which does not achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia. Therefore, risk management measures are required for these pests if the indicative unrestricted risk estimate of ‘Low’ is verified for a specific plant import pathway.
These measures and alternative risk management options may be considered on a case-by-case basis when developing new import conditions for specific commodities or reviewing existing import conditions for commodities that are currently traded. Import commodities will be regulated if they are infested with scale insect quarantine pests to reduce the risk of establishment of these organisms in Australia. Where measures are required, they include the following options:
- pre-export visual inspection and if found, remedial action (e.g. suitable treatment) to manage the identified pest
- a systems approach
- area freedom.
On-arrival verification will be undertaken to provide assurance that Australia's import conditions have been met and appropriate level of protection achieved.
Imported goods that are frequently found to be infested with scale insects may be subject to mandatory, pre-export treatment approved by Australia.
Download draft report
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, November 2020.
If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for help.
We are considering all comments received on the draft report. Your feedback is helping to inform our final report.
We expect to release the final report in 2021. Please note that this is an indicative timeline and may be subject to change.
New scientific information
Scientific information can be provided to us at any time, including after a risk analysis has been completed. We will consider the information provided and review the analysis.
Register as a stakeholder
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For more information, you can email plantstakeholders.