WORLD Peak science agency calls for overhaul of Australia's biosecurity system


Peak science agency calls for overhaul of Australia's biosecurity system


19:44, November 04, 2020

File Photo: Agencies.

CANBERRA, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Australia's peak scientific agency has called for an overhaul of the nation's biosecurity system to respond to "increasing and severe biosecurity events."

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on Wednesday published a report on Australia's biosecurity future, warning that Australia was becoming increasingly vulnerable to disease outbreaks and pest incursions.

The report found that in the five years to 2017 the amount of biosecurity risk materials intercepted on their way into Australia increased by almost 50 percent.

It called for the government to develop a "more innovative, coordinated and collaborative biosecurity system" to deal with emerging threats.

Rob Grenfell, the CSIRO's Director of Health and Biosecurity, said that the coronavirus pandemic should serve as a reminder on the importance of biosecurity.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has increased community and public awareness of the importance of biosecurity," he said in a media release.

"How Australia navigates the changes needed over the next decade will significantly impact the health of Australians, our communities, ecosystems and agricultural systems and food security into the future."

The report made 20 recommendations across three themes including digitization and enhancing data sharing across supply chains and the human, agricultural, environmental and marine health sectors.

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