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Thursday, 13 April 1972
Page: 1081

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - On 11th April Senator Drury asked me the following question, without notice:

My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. Is it a fact that a ban has been imposed on the importation of goldfish from Japan? If so, by whose authority and on what grounds was the ban imposed? Was it because of the danger of disease? If so, would the disease be dangerous to humans, animals or other fish? Or was it because of the predatory nature of goldfish? Will the ban apply only to Japan or to all countries exporting live fish to Australia? Is the Minister also aware that the sudden imposition of the ban has placed dealers in live fish throughout Australia in a serious financial position as tile largest portion of their incomes was derived from that source?

The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following reply to the honourable senator's question:

The Australian Fisheries Council consisting of Commonwealth and State Ministers responsible for fisheries, at a meeting on 27th March 1972 decided that an immediate ban should be placed on the import of goldfish.

The reasons for this decision were:

There is a danger of introducing fish diseases and parasites with imported live fish. Goldfish have a wide temperature tolerance and therefore could contaminate most natural waters in Australia including trout streams and lakes in southern Australia.

Australia is one of the few countries at present free from virulent diseases of salmonids (salmon-trout and other related species). This factor ensures a certain market overseas for Australian disease free salmonid eggs.

Goldfish are very easily bred and therefore could be produced locally in sufficient quantities to satisfy the demands of the aquarium trade.

As a result of the Australian Fisheries Council decision a request has been made to the Department of Customs and Excise to prohibit the importation of all varieties of goldfish. This request is now under consideration.

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