Thursday 3rd of December 2020

lantana, privet, cane toads, pox, cats, TPPs, roundup, rabbits, guns...


I hate the expression exactly correct... but I will go straight to the crux of the matter. Australia is about to loose its "rigourous" border protection system for exotic diseases and feral animals as the TPP will be enforced. As well as pointed out by Catalyst ABC/TV food import in this country is tested for antibiotics but not for bacterial content.

You would think we would have wised up since the introduction of the cane toad and that of the European rabbit. The importation of exotic species is poorly regulated especially say in the recreational aquarium business. People throw out plants and animals down the rivers and the devastation from infestation can be seen many years after the deed. 

a hiding to nothing in the TPP...

With these similarities in mind, the disconcerting results of the AUSTFA negotiations provide compelling evidence for why Australia should proceed with caution with the TPP. According to Shiro Armstrong of ANU, AUSTFA provided little to no increase in free access to the American market, and in fact caused a fall in trade between the two countries. In return for this result, Australia relaxed its quarantine and food safety standards, replaced parts of its internationally acclaimed intellectual property laws so as to align them more with those in America, reduced public purchasing policy to levels below America’s, and as well, changed crucial elements of the PBS, causing essential medical prices to go up, despite initial claims the PBS would be left off the table.

Evidently, the positives of maintaining the confidentiality of negotiations are grossly outweighed by the potential negatives of allowing the TPP to continue without proper transparency and accountability. The Australian public must use their democratically guaranteed powers to make clear that perhaps citizens sometimes are better at recognising a bad deal when they see one than governments are. Should they wave this right, as the saying goes, fool us once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on us.

invasion online...

Amazon and eBay have been exposed as weak points in Australia’s quarantine system, with the internet trading sites hosting dozens of offers to import the nation’s most dangerous weeds.

Any Australian with a credit card can order home delivery of thousands of seeds of gorse, blackberry or cactus. Also available is the Mimosa pigra treewhich the Northern Territory government spends $500,000 each year trying to eradicate from Kakadu national park.

Each of these species is listed as a weed of national significance, among the country’s 32 most economically and environmentally damaging plant species. Nine such species were recently advertised by sellers, mostly from Europe and North America.

Both the buyer and supplier could be subject to investigation and criminal prosecution, the agriculture department said.

another US invasion...


Pastoralists in WA's Pilbara are fighting a weed with thorns that can puncture truck tyres.

Mesquite covers more than 800 square kilometres in the region — that is 40 times the size of WA tourist hot-spot Rottnest Island.

It is a woody weed that came from South Africa. It can grow up to 15 metres tall and when it forms thickets, it writes-off land for running cattle.

"It's got a really wavy stem," said Joe Armstrong, chairman of the Pilbara Mesquite Management Committee.

"See a branch that sticks out and says, 'here I am, come and kill me'. "

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Mesquite is also native to the Americas, from 3000 BC...


tasteless giant pest pet goldfish...

Unwanted pet goldfish are being dumped into waterways and growing as large as 1.9 kilograms, researchers in Western Australia have found.

Dr Stephen Beatty from the school of Veterinary and Life Sciences at Perth's Murdoch University has been working on a control program for Busselton's Vasse River for the past 12 years.

He said he and his colleagues regularly found goldfish that weighed over 1kg, and the largest they had found weighed 1.9kg.

Dr Beatty told 720 ABC Perth the goldfish in most cases had been innocently released there but were now choking the habitat for native fish.

destroying historical items...


A review of Australia's quarantine procedures has been undertaken after historic and valuable plant specimens from France were destroyed by biosecurity officers.

In March, a collection of rare flowering plants sent by the Museum of Natural History in Paris to Queensland's herbarium in Brisbane was incinerated.

Michelle Waycott, who chairs the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, said the pressed plant specimens dated back to the mid-1800s.

"They were the first type specimens collected of a species," she said.

"That would be the equivalent of material collected in the Flinders expedition, going and then destroying those.


Read more:


Meanwhile in Darwin, the land of biodiversity in evolution and cane toads:


Pentagon officials had told the Government Accountability Office that "the biosecurity requirements are a risk to the Marine Corps units' capability", the report states.

"Marine Corps officials stated that, during the approximately two months it generally takes to break down, clean and reassemble the Marine Corps equipment, the equipment is not functional and this hinders capability and training," it states.

read more:

Read from top... Note that the US troops are exempt from biosecurity directives...



eating the heart of cane toads...

In only two years, highly intelligent native rakali in the Kimberly region of Western Australia discovered how to safely destroy the deadly toad – by removing its gallbladder and feasting on the heart.

The rats even targeted the biggest, most poisonous toads they could find, leaving their bodies strewn by the riverside, according to research published in Australian Mammalogy.

Cane toads were first introduced into Queensland in the 1930s and have been marching slowly west ever since, devastating native animals and driving them towards extinction. The toads first arrived in a site monitored by the researchers in WA in 2011.

But to their surprise, the scientists found the native water rat – better known as the rakali – was fighting back. The highly intelligent rodent has extremely sharp claws and teeth, and can grow to up 1kg in weight.

Dr Marissa Parrott, the paper’s co-author, said the scientists began to see dead toads appear, cut open in a “very distinctive” way.

“It was a small area of creek, three to five metres in size, and every day we were finding new dead cane toads,” she said. “Up to five every single morning.

“They were flipping them over, making a very distinctive, almost surgical precision cut down the chest. They would even remove the gallbladder outside the body, which contains toxic bile salts. They knew to remove that bit.”

“In the medium-sized toads, as well as eating the heart and liver, they would strip off the toxic skin from one or both legs and eat the non-toxic thigh muscle.


Read more:



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Unfortunately, as rattty and cunning as we are, we cannot do this surgical feasting with most politicians as some do not have a heart...


natives-united make a meal out of cane toads...

A native water rat can rip out the heart and liver of a cane toad with surgical precision.

They do this to avoid poisonous glands located behind the cane toad's head, according to recent research published in Australian Mammalogy

Cane toads produce a poisonous cocktail of bufotoxins and bufogenins, making them deadly to most Australian animals.

But native water rats are not the only Australian animals that have learnt to dodge the poison and make a meal out of the cane toad — Rhinella marina.

Here are some of the native animals, and the sometimes ingenious methods they use to turn one of our worst pests into tasty tucker.



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why alligator when croc will do?...

An alligator-skin handbag worth A$26,000 (£14,000; $19,000) is to be destroyed after a woman imported it into Australia without a permit.

The luxury bag, from a Saint Laurent boutique in France, was seized by the Australian Border Force in Perth.

Alligator-skin products are allowed to be imported into Australia, but shoppers must obtain an A$70 permit.

Australia’s environment minister called it a “costly reminder” to apply for the correct paperwork.

While the woman is out of pocket A$26,313, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment said it decided to take no further action. 

The maximum penalty for wildlife trade offences in Australia is 10 years in prison and a A$222,000 fine.

While products made from alligator are allowed into Australia they are strictly regulated through its Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

“We all need to be aware of what we’re purchasing online as restricting the trade of animal products is crucial to the long-term survival of endangered species,” said Sussan Ley, the country’s Minister for the Environment.

She said the government "closely monitors what comes in and out of Australia to stop and deter the illegal wildlife trade".


Read more:


Australia does export a lot of (farmed) crocodile skins... But destroying a YSL bag? Get the shop to send the paperwork to the Aussie custom and pay $1,000 in fine and a $1,000 bribe... A YSL bag is a work of art!


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