Biosecurity overhaul to 'tighten net' on foreign diseases

AN OVERHAUL of 100-year-old biosecurity laws will create more stringent penalties for importers of foreign diseases, but could open the door to controversial search warrants.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce on Thursday tabled a bill to reform the biosecurity system, which will tighten the net on the potential importation of foreign diseases.

However, one aspect of the bill allows biosecurity officers to enter premises without a warrant or consent.

Such powers would usually be used during an "emergency period" if an outbreak of a disease or pest could threaten animal or human health or the economy.


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