Biosecurity checks pay dividends
Kangaroo Island is free of many pest plants and animals, and has strict biosecurity rules in place.
Natural Resources Kangaroo Island conducts regular biosecurity checks at the Cape Jervis ferry terminal, the main entry point to the Island.
Many Islanders would be familiar with the ‘Kangaroo Island Too Good to Spoil’ cards and the biosecurity signage at Cape Jervis ferry terminal. These were designed to highlight the importance of protecting Kangaroo Island’s unique environment and agricultural industries to Islanders and visitors.
The tourism sector has also assisted with raising awareness by providing information online, particularly on accommodation booking sites.
Richard Trethewey, Presiding Member of the Natural Resources Management Board, says that Natural Resources Kangaroo Island (NRKI) conducts regular biosecurity checks during peak season.
“Over the past two years, just under 10,000 vehicles carrying nearly 25,000 passengers have been checked before boarding the ferry to the Island.
“Because of these checks, and information cards, NRKI has seen a major change in biosecurity awareness amongst ferry passengers.”
Andrew Triggs, Biosecurity Liaison Officer at NRKI, who conducts the checks says people coming to the Island now seem to have a greater understanding of the biosecurity risks.
“We have seen a great reduction in the amount of honey being brought to Kangaroo Island. Previously about one car in ten would be carrying honey, but that’s now decreased to about one car in every 100.
“But we can’t rest on our laurels as it would only take one pest plant seed or animal to reach the island to wreak havoc on our ecosystem.”
People are reminded that honey, live bees or any used beekeeping equipment, potatoes for planting or unwashed / unbrushed potatoes for eating, live rabbits, foxes, or any declared weeds must not be brought to the Island.
For more information on the Island’s biosecurity please visit: http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/kangarooisland/plants-and-animals/Biosecurity