Following the detection of white spot disease in imported prawns, Australia is all set to impose a ban on green prawn import soon. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has announced the banning of the green prawn import seeing the harmful effect of the species on humans. He mentioned that the nation used to import prawns worth $50 million annually.

“Yesterday … I was told that they are detecting white spot in imported green prawns that you buy in the shop for human consumption,” Joyce said. “But that, for me, is a huge concern.” The minister also said that one prawn importer has already been caught in connection with the import of prawns that were affected by the virus. He added that the authorities were investigating other prawn importers.  The want to find out who among them do not follow proper protocols before dispatching the species into the nation.

White Spot Disease is Also Affecting the Wild Prawns

Wild prawns were taken for test and it was found that they were also affected by the same virus. This disease will not only cause death to the prawn but was also harm humans. Prawns of almost tens of millions of dollars have to be destroyed given that the ponds they were grown in were infected. It is the environment the prawns grow in that affect the species, thereby making it harmful for the consumers.

Prawn Import Ban: Has it Been Implemented Late

Biosecurity officials, however, are trying to determine the ways in which the white spot disease reached Australia. The farmers claim that the virus is connected to the prawns coming from overseas. According to reports, four farms have been detected with the spot incursions since November.

The Australian Prawn Farmers Association has appreciated the federal government’s decision to ban prawn importation. On the other hand, APFA board member Nick Moore said that the government should have taken the step before the disease has spread. “The importation of raw prawns into Australia was a vector we’ve been highlighting for many years,” he told the ABC on Friday. “While I absolutely applaud the government’s stance on this right now, it would have been nice a couple of years ago.”

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