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Biosecurity Australia’s Statement on Budgerigar Imports

The following is an extract from Biosecurity Australia (Live Animal Imports – Horses, Livestock and Birds) in relation to the ongoing rumours that importation of budgerigars will be commencing within the year:

Live parrots are currently not permitted entry into Australia from anywhere other than New Zealand (and then only genuine pets accompanying people who are emigrating to Australia from New Zealand).

Import conditions have not been developed for the importation of live parrots from any other country.

Biosecurity Australia is the agency responsible for risk assessment of new commodities.

Please note that once any risk assessment process starts, it is likely to take a period of years to complete.

Risk assessments are completed on a work priority basis, and it may take some years for a commodity to start being assessed. This request would need to go through the import access request system by way of Import Market Access Advisory Group (IMAAG).

Parrots are listed as Priority A for assessment by Biosecurity Australia but are not on the 2010 work plan. Conditions will not be finalised for at least 12 months, and possibly much longer.

Biosecurity Australia

Biosecurity Australia (“BA”)is the unit within the Biosecurity Services Group, in the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, responsible for recommendations for the development of Australia’s biosecurity policy.

BA undertakes science-based risk assessments and provides quarantine policy advice to protect Australia’s animal and plant health status and natural environment. It also provides technical advice to enhance Australia’s access to international markets and participates in international organisations that set biosecurity standards.

BA develops and reviews quarantine policies. The process to develop a new quarantine policy, where no policy exists, is called an import risk analysis (IRA) and is undertaken by BA scientists and technical specialists.

BA also provide scientific and technical advice and support to help Australia maintain or gain entry to international animal- and plant-related markets.

BA specialists are active in the development of international quarantine standards and help to develop quarantine expertise in the Australasian region.

As a World Trade Organization (WTO) member, Australia is obliged under the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) to consider all import requests from other countries concerning agricultural products.

Decisions to permit or reject an import application can be made only on sound scientific grounds.

BA also works with international agencies that set standards for animal and plant health. These are: