Measure category: Pest freedom or low pest prevalence
Measures in this category include:
- Area-wide pest freedom / low pest prevalence
- Registered site pest freedom / low pest prevalence
Note that the resource is a working draft, which is currently being reviewed and updated in collaboration with biosecurity specialists.
Evidence through monitoring is used to demonstrate that pest abundance is below an acceptable threshold, or to give confidence that it is absent, within the registered site (pest-free place of production, ISPM10) or across a designated area (e.g. Pest Free Area, ISPM04; Area of Low Pest Prevalence, ISPM22). Monitoring is used to give confidence that the pest is not established (or, less commonly, is not present above an accepted threshold) within the production area to which the protocol applies. Monitoring can vary from one-off visual inspections to targeted trapping. In some cases, monitoring is only required during the growing season when the commodity or carrier is susceptible to becoming infested, in which case it demonstrates “seasonal pest freedom or low pest prevalence”. Threshold exceedance triggers a consequence, which may be a corrective action or suspension of the registered site or area. Monitoring without a threshold-induced action does not constitute a phytosanitary measure. Threshold exceedance has consequences for all producers in a pest-free area whereas it may only affect selected producers if applied at the registered site scale. The scale of application also has implications for how monitoring is designed, action thresholds are set and what corrective actions may be required.
Required proof of efficacy
Evidence that the surveillance regime is sufficient to demonstrate pest freedom or that infestation rates in commodities will be acceptably low provided the detection threshold is not exceeded. This will be influenced by detection efficacy of the surveillance method, surveillance design (such as trapping density and placement, inspection frequency), pest biology (such as mobility, host preferences, conditions required for oviposition), and the risk of pests entering the registered site or region (in the case of mobile pests). A ‘zero tolerance’ threshold may not be sufficient to demonstrate pest freedom. Efficacy of any corrective actions needs to be demonstrated
How the measures are certified
Evidence is provided to support ongoing pest freedom or low pest prevalence claims, and that consequences are being correctly applied where thresholds are exceeded.
How the measures are used
Pest freedom (at the registered site or in the designated region) is a commonly used measure. It can be applied both during production and post-production. Demonstration that pest abundance is low when commodities are vulnerable will always reduce risk. It may be used as a stand-alone measure where there is sufficient confidence in the relationship between pest detection thresholds and commodity infestation rate. This is most often the case for lower risk pests, poorer hosts, and where pests are readily detectable. Otherwise it can be incorporated into a phytosanitary systems approach.
Relationship with other measures
Often combined with pest management, pest avoidance or pest exclusion measures to give greater confidence that pest abundance is sufficiently low. These are dependent measures. These dependent measures can be a requirement. For example, extension activities and regulation to restrict the movement of certain high-risk goods into the PFA (ISPM04, ISPM26). These additional measures can add redundancy to the protocol, or reduce the intensity of surveillance required to give confidence in pest freedom or low pest prevalence. For example, combining site-based pest freedom with limited seasonal overlap will provide added security where pest surveillance is not sufficiently sensitive. Alternatively, discretion can be permitted as to what actions are required to limit the risk of threshold exceedance given local circumstances. When production occurs in a pest free area then pest exclusion measures are generally required if the produce moves out of that area for processing, packaging or storage. Where pest freedom or low pest prevalence is not sufficient to bring down risks it is most commonly combined with measures to reduce infestation rates (often “inspect product and reject” or a kill treatment) to form a phytosanitary systems approach. Other measures may also be provided as alternatives within a pest free area protocol if pest freedom status is lost.
Consignment stages where the measures can be applied
Measures in detail: pest freedom or low pest prevalence
|Measure||Required proof of efficacy||How the measure is certified||How the measure is used||Relationship to other measures|
|Area-wide pest freedom or LPP|
If pest detection within the designated region exceeds a threshold (often zero) then no registered sites within that region can trade under the protocol until confidence in pest freedom (or low pest prevalence) is re-established. Alternatively, registered sites may be able to trade if they utilise other methods specified in the same protocol.
|Evidence that the surveillance regime is sufficient to support pest freedom or low pest prevalence claims across the designated area. For Area of Low Pest Prevalence, evidence is also needed to support the suspension threshold (or specified pest levels, ISPM 22).||Evidence is provided to support on-going pest freedom claims. For high-risk pests, this may entail auditable surveillance programs using agreed methodologies. Confirmation that registered sites occur within the PFA area.||Pest Free Area (PFA) status is commonly used as a stand-alone protocol for managing risks during production. PFA can also be used as a post-production measure. In a ‘multi pest’ protocol, a PFA can be relied upon to meet all the requirements for one pest, and part of the requirements for another pest attracted to the same lure.||A range of supporting (dependent) measures may be required to give confidence that the PFA is being maintained, such as hygiene practices, management of alternative host, pest-free inputs and maintaining buffer zones. It may also be combined into a phytosanitary systems approach by the addition of others measures (e.g. to reduce infestation rates in the consignment). Segregation and safeguarding measures may be required if the commodity exits the region designated to have pest freedom or low pest prevalence.|
|Registered site pest freedom or LPP|
If pest detection on the registered site (which can include a buffer zone) exceeds a suspension threshold (often zero) then the site is suspended until agreed rectifications have been made, or an alternative treatment is applied (e.g. application of a systemic agrochemical). A lower, corrective action, threshold may also be imposed. If exceeded management is typically required to reduce populations below the threshold within a set period.
|Evidence is required to support the corrective action and rejection threshold in relation to the required monitoring methodology. Corrective actions need to be effective, and not interfere monitoring efficacy. Because monitoring is restricted to the registered site, evidence may be required that monitoring will detect mobile pests that are both already present in the site and moving into the site from surrounding hot spots.||Audit of monitoring and corrective action records, and evidence that corrective and suspension actions are applied correctly if thresholds are exceeded.||Often used as a stand-alone protocol for managing risks during production. For example, in horticulture regular crop inspections are often required to give confidence in the absence of multiple of quarantine pests. It can also be used as a post-production measure. Corrective action thresholds are possible where the detection threshold for rejection is not zero.||Is often combined with pest management, pest avoidance or pest exclusion measures to give greater confidence that pest abundance is sufficiently low. Can be combined into a phytosanitary systems approach, most often through addition of “inspect product and reject” or kill treatments.|
Key references will be determined through consultation with biosecurity specialists and added here in the coming months.