#Law Reform
Tony Burke MP

The Iridovirus investigation that started around 2008, has just been handed down by Biosecurity on 23/7/10

The report has recommended that ALL CICHLIDS, ALL LIVEBEARERS and ALL GOURAMI species including Paradise Fish a distant relative of Gouramis, will need to be "batch tested - post arrival" in Australia for megalocytiviruses not known to exist in Australia, in other words "EXOTIC" to Australia. There are no tests for megalocytiviruses known to exist anywhere in the World, which they have acknowledged in their final report, but they said a PCR tests will suffice for these tests.

This final report gives members of the Industry until 23/8/10 to respond to this final report, when they have taken almost three years to complete the task. They state that they have taken into consideration all the responses from the Industry and elsewhere, but have still come up to the same conclusion.

This has the potential to wipe out the Industry, OR dramatically increase the price of all species they are batch-testing, simply because of a so-called theoretical risk to our environment, when nothing can be further from the truth.

To get a 95% assurity of any species having any of these viruses, quarantine would need to remove 6 species from each batch of livebearers, cichlids, and goramis, and charge the Importers for the cost of doing these tests. So if an Importers imports 20 different colour variants of live bearers, 10 different cichlids species imported and 15 different batches of gouramis and paradise species, then the importer would be up for 45 x the costs of each test, currently valued at $200-250 per test, so you can work it out for yourself what that will cost, and subsequently all those imports will escalate in price that will just about prevent them from being sold in the Industry, or severely curtail the sales of those species altogether.

If the authorities wants a 98% assurity then they will take 30% of any batch of fish to get a 98% success rate. Just imagine what DAMAGE TO AN INDUSTRY WORTH IN EXCESS OF $450 MILLION P.A.

Overseas suppliers to Australia from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Germany and USA and the like are extremely upset that this is being applied to Australia's Aquarium Industry, as they see it if it gets accepted here that all Countries around the World will have the same applied to them, that will ruin their Industry worldwide.

We need to fight this proposal with legal representation and Government lobbying, to try and restrict the impact that this will have on these batches of fish, as it will not stop with just these types of fish; it will soon progress to other species eg, Tetras, Cyprinids, even the lowly Goldfish varieties, etc.

To read the entire Biosecurity report please go to


to respond to this action.

We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our elected members of Parliament to act now to allow more time to answer the Bio security report which states that the imported ornamental fish have been declared a disease threat to Australia and to continue with the already adequate Quarantine regulations that are already in place.

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The Stop the Testing of Imported Ornamental Fish by Biosecurity petition to Tony Burke MP was written by Trina Forbes and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.

Petition Tags

IRA report Biosecurity