Import concerns

By Country News

The VFF Grains Group is urging extreme caution and vigilance to ensure biosecurity integrity is upheld by border authorities and anybody considering importing grains into Australia from other countries.

With Victoria’s grain harvest expected to be down significantly this year because of poor rainfall, late season frosts in some areas and difficult spring conditions, VFF Grains Group president Ross Johns said it was critical to ensure the state’s grains industry was not placed at risk by a rush to import grain from overseas.

‘‘While the VFF is not opposed to grain imports, imported fodder and grain can pose a significant biosecurity risk to both the grains and livestock industries,’’ Mr Johns said.

‘‘For example, foot and mouth disease was introduced into Japan by imported fodder,’’ he said.

‘‘The VFF is urging extreme caution in relation to grains imported into Australia, and is steadfastly opposed to any changes to biosecurity or import protocols which would diminish current requirements.

‘‘In particular, we must not allow grain to be imported into Australia from countries which are known to have a biosecurity risk not present here.’’