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Australia extends digital pest-detection network to Asia

Media Release: 10 August 2010

Australia’s digital pest-detection network is expanding to neighbouring Asian nations to identify and combat invasive insects and diseases that threaten Australia’s agricultural industries and markets before they arrive.
A network of more than 30 camera-connected microscopes linked to a public internet-based image library is already part of the arsenal being deployed to meet Australia’s biosecurity challenges.
This includes remote districts like Kununurra in Western Australia, which would otherwise have a limited access to the expertise required to identify new plant pests and diseases.
The digital diagnostic technology and procedures developed by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for National Plant Biosecurity have now been extended to East Timor, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam to enhance their diagnostic capability and contribute to Australia’s ‘pre-border’ surveillance.
Plant pathologist Dr Gary Kong is leading the CRC’s digital diagnostic project and says the increasing volume of international trade and people movement are placing greater pressure on our quarantine systems.
“At the same time the pool of expertise to diagnose new incursions is shrinking. Digital tools are helping us to do more with less and increasing access to information that improves our capacity to identify new pests and disease and respond more quickly.” READ MORE
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