‘Snailed It’….Nailed it!

  • ‘Snailed It’….Nailed it! image

Operation ‘Snailed It’ was conducted as a hybrid training exercise and surveillance collaboration between New South Wales (NSW) Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Plant Biosecurity and Murray and Riverina Local Land Services (LLS) at Barooga NSW on 10-11 May 2022.

The exercise was developed by the NSW DPI Grains Biosecurity Officer (GBO) to refresh and upskill DPI and LLS officers with the operational skills required in a plant biosecurity emergency response and to collect samples to support NSW’s claims of an absence of the pest green snail (Cantareus apertus). Green snail was first detected in Australia near Perth, in 1982 and within the last decade near Cobram in Victoria. Eradication has not been successful in either Western Australia or Victoria, however the pest is under management and regulations are in place to prevent its further spread. Green snail has a very wide host range which includes cereals, canola and lupins as well as many pasture and horticultural vegetable species.

NSW DPI biosecurity officers worked with the Emergency Management team from Murray and Riverina LLS to design and deliver a training activity focused on delimiting surveillance. Field crews from Murray and Riverina LLS collected suspect snail samples from over 50 sites around Barooga and samples were triaged and sent to Orange Agricultural Institute for diagnostics. These diagnostics confirmed that no green snails were found during the operation. All involved in the activity considered the training to be highly valuable.