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Biosecurity South Australia

Biosecurity is about managing the risks and potential harm to our community, our environment and economy from pests and diseases, or misuse of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

It’s a shared responsibility of government, industry, and the community. For industry it means responsible use of agricultural chemicals and respecting neighbours’ enterprises; for travellers, it means not inadvertently bringing fruit fly into the state; and for people enjoying our beaches and rivers it means promptly reporting any pests or diseases which could threaten our waters.

In South Australia, Biosecurity SA steps in to minimise the risks and potential harm from threats like locust plagues, emerging livestock diseases, fruit flies, aquatic pests, weeds or pest animals like dingoes, rabbits, and noxious fish.

A major outbreak of a plant pest or animal disease, or chemical residue problems could potentially cost millions (if not billions) and affect farmers, their produce and livelihoods. Exotic pests and diseases may also risk South Australia’s clean, premium reputation and trade in hard-won international and domestic markets.

Farmers have primary responsibility to manage biosecurity pests (animals and plants) and threats on their properties. Only in exceptional circumstances, like a locust plague, will a regional or state-wide response be warranted.

Facts and figures

  • Biosecurity SA is the frontline in protecting South Australia’s annual $600 million horticultural industry.
  • Exotic pests or diseases can be as big as a camel and as small as a fungal spore.
  • In the 2010  locust plague response in South Australia, up to three aircraft were employed to aerially spray more than 450,000 hectares  of the state’s Mid North and Murray Mallee regions where locusts had hatched.
  • Biosecurity SA officers are constantly undergoing training to ensure they’re familiar with the latest emergency response techniques.

Video outlining what biosecurity is, and what Biosecurity SA does.
View the video by selecting the image above.
View the video transcript.

South Australia Biosecurity Policy (PDF 5.4 MB or DOC 3.7 MB)


Biosecurity SA services

Emergency hotline numbers

Fruit Fly reports – 1300 666 010
Animal disease reports – 1800 675 888
Fishwatch (for reporting aquatic pests) – 1800 065 522
Plant pests – 1800 084 881
Locusts - 1800 833 451

More information

Download the Biosecurity in South Australia brochure (PDF 2.2 MB)