Prawn disease investigation


Biosecurity Queensland has placed an aquaculture farm south of Brisbane under movement controls after test results confirmed a case of ‘white spot disease’ (WSD) in prawns.

Chief Biosecurity Officer Jim Thompson said samples were sent to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong and we had now received confirmation of positive results for WSD.

“WSD is a viral infection that affects all crustaceans,” he said.

“Australia is considered free of the virus and this is the first confirmed case we’ve had in an aquaculture setting.

“Infected prawns do not pose any human health risk, and there is no suggestion that any product currently on the market is in any way affected.

“Industry has been notified and Biosecurity Queensland is on site working closely with the farm operators to ensure the necessary biosecurity processes are followed, including completely destocking the site.

“In addition, all movement of water from the farm has been stopped while the affected ponds are treated to minimise any risk of spread.

“As part of our ongoing investigation into the possible source of the infection, we are conducting surveillance on other similar operations in the area.

“This appears to be an isolated case and will have no impact on the supplies of prawns for the holiday season.”

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne said he had authorised the response after being briefed on the test results.

Biosecurity Queensland is asking prawn farmers to monitor their stock and report any concerns on 13 25 23.

For more information about WSD visit

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