Aussies Prepare Pests Network

Published online: Apr 22, 2003
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>Australia is proposing a network of specialist diagnostic laboratories with New Zealand as a defense against exotic pests and diseases.

The plan calls for setting diagnostic standards and tests for high-priority exotic plant pests and an international Internet-based diagnostic expertise register.

Both countries have a shortage of plant pathologists and entomologists. Also, the cost of diagnostic equipment is high.

A Plant Health Australia spokesman said it would not involve the construction of new labs but rather use of existing facilities.

The trans-Tasman network would complement a national exotic pest and disease eradication plan proposed by Plant Health Australia and now before the government in Canberra.