Burrs - Statutory Weed Management Plan

​Burrs (Xanthium species)

Check the Weeds Index for more information on this and other weeds

Interpretation:

In this weed management plan (approved 30 August 2003):
  • "Act" means the Weed Management Act 1999.
  • "Approved quarantine place" means a place approved by the Secretary under section 70 of the Plant Quarantine Act 1997 for the purpose of examining any prescribed matter imported into or to be exported out of the State.
  • "Court fine' means a prescribed penalty for breaches against the Act. Court fines may be imposed if a person is convicted of any offence against the Act.
  • "DPIWE" means the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment, Tasmania.
  • "Infringement fine" means a prescribed penalty for breaches against the Act. Infringement fines are imposed by way of an infringement notice that may be issued by a Weed Inspector.
  • "Inspector" means a Weed Inspector appointed under section 34 of the Act.
  • "Penalty unit" means the basic unit of the fine for which persons who fail to comply with any prohibition or requirement under the Act may be liable. One penalty unit equals $100 at April 2002.
  • "Biosecurity Tasmania" means that branch of the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment that, in cooperation with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, maintains both overseas and interstate biosecurity barriers for this state.
  • "Regional Weed Management Officer" means a person employed in the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment under that specific title.
  • "Regulations" means the Weed Management Regulations 2000.
  • "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.
  • "Burr" means any species of the genus Xanthium and includes the whole plant or plant parts. It does not include products such as tablets, lotions, tinctures or other preparations that contain extracts of these plants or other dead Xanthium materials. People who are uncertain about whether certain products (eg. dried materials) contain plant parts capable of regenerating should contact a Regional Weed Management Officer.

1. Purpose of this management plan:

The purpose of this weed management plan for burr is to:
  • Provide direction upon the implementation of the Act with respect to burr.
  • Encourage and facilitate an increase in the effectiveness with which burr is managed throughout Tasmania with a view to eradicating existing infestations and preventing future occurrences.
  • Provide legislative support to regional and local efforts to manage burr in a strategic and integrated manner.

2. Area covered by this management plan:

The State of Tasmania is covered by this management plan.

3. Description and distribution of the weed:

Burrs are annual herbs that produce a distinctive, spiny fruit. Burr infestations in agricultural areas cause significant contamination of produce and are responsible for severe injury to animals and humans. Burrs are naturalised in most agricultural regions of mainland Australia including large areas of rangeland. The Information Sheet - Burrs, contains a summary of the weed issues generated by these plants and further information is available from Regional Weed Management Officers.

The distribution of burrs in Tasmania is relatively limited. Preferring open, sunny situations with reasonable water supplies, they occur as occasional weeds of pastures, roadsides, stockyards, abattoir grounds and neglected areas. Bathurst burr (Xanthium spinosum L.) is the only natualised burr in Tasmania. Refer to Table 1. Distribution of burr in Tasmania by municipality, 09/03 p. 8.

4. Importation of declared weed:

(1) A person must not import or allow to be imported into Tasmania any burrs.

It is an offence against section 57(1) of the Act to fail to comply with this prohibition. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted in court of that offence may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

The Secretary may exempt a person from this prohibition under section 60 of the Act.

To avoid committing this offence, actions including but not limited to the following should be undertaken:
  • Persons travelling to Tasmania, in particular from areas infested with burrs, such as Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, should conduct thorough searches for the presence of the plant and apply appropriate hygiene measures, such as clothing, vehicle, machinery and baggage inspection and cleaning. Questions or concerns about weed hygiene issues should be directed to Biosecurity Tasmania personnel before or directly upon disembarkation in Tasmania.
  • Persons importing items to Tasmania that may contain burrs (eg. craft items, bird seed) should have these checked for the presence of the plant. This can be arranged through Biosecurity Tasmania.
(2) Feed grain may be imported if it complies with the tolerance level prescribed burrs by the Regulations. The tolerance level prescribed for this plant in regulation 4 of Schedule 1 is ZERO.

It is an offence against section 57(1) of the Act to import feed grain containing any burrs. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted of that offence in court may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

The Secretary may exempt a person from this prohibition under section 60 of the Act.

To avoid committing this offence, actions including but not limited to the following should be undertaken:
  • Persons importing feed grain to Tasmania, in particular from Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland should liaise with suppliers on the subject of possible burr contamination.
  • Persons purchasing feed grain imported to Tasmania should liaise with suppliers on the subject of possible burr contamination.
  • Anyone importing feed grain into Tasmania should make him/herself familiar with declared weed seed tolerance levels as set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations.

(3) A person must not import any livestock that may be carrying burrs otherwise than in accordance with any measures prescribed under the Regulations.

It is an offence against section 57(3) of the Act to fail to comply with this prohibition. A person found committing this offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted of that offence in court may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

The Secretary may exempt a person from this prohibition under section 60 of the Act.

The prescribed measures for importing stock under regulation 5 of the Regulations are as follows:

a) the length of hairs in the coat is not to exceed 25 mm;
b) seeds are not to adhere to the coat or anywhere else on the livestock;
c) a permit for importation is obtained from the Secretary, DPIWE;
d) importation is direct to an approved facility for slaughter.

To avoid committing this offence, actions including but not limited to the following should be undertaken:
  • Persons importing livestock to Tasmania should liaise with suppliers on the subject of possible burr contamination of stock.
  • Persons purchasing livestock imported from areas infested with burrs should ensure their animals are confined to holding pens until they have undergone thorough external. Pens should be checked subsequently for the emergence of burrs.
  • Anyone importing stock to Tasmania should make him/herself familiar with regulation 5 of the Regulations.
Note: The importation of this species into Tasmania is also restricted under the Plant Quarantine Act 1997. Biosecurity Tasmania should be contacted for information on the relevance and application of the Plant Quarantine Act 1997 to activities concerning plant species.

5. Procedures for notification of the occurrence of the weed:

Inspectors shall notify a Regional Weed Management Officer of any burr occurrences in municipalities or parts of municipalities where the weed is not yet recorded. See Table 1, Distribution of burr in Tasmania by municipality at 09/03 p. 8.

6. Sale of declared weed:

A person must not sell or otherwise distribute any burrs or any thing carrying burrs.

It is an offence against section 56 of the Act to fail to comply with this prohibition. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted of that offence in court may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

The Secretary may exempt a person from this prohibition under section 60 of the Act.

To avoid committing this offence, actions including but not limited to the following should be undertaken:
  • Persons giving away, bartering, selling or otherwise distributing agricultural produce (eg. hay, grain, birdseed) likely to be contaminated with burrs should ensure that these items are free of this plant by undertaking appropriate production hygiene and inspection measures. These include practising integrated burr control in pastures or crops likely to be harvested for sale or distribution, careful inspection of the product prior to sale or distribution and forgoing the sale and distribution of produce grown in areas where burrs control has not been undertaken successfully.
  • Persons involved in the sale or distribution of agricultural or roading machinery likely to be contaminated with burrs should ensure that this equipment is free of burrs by undertaking appropriate inspection and hygiene measures. These include introducing thorough visual checks and cleaning of machinery as routine tasks when preparing these items for sale or distribution.
  • Persons involved in the sale or distribution of livestock that may be carrying burrs should ensure appropriate hygiene measures are undertaken to prevent spread of this plant. These include cleaning stock externally and penning them for a suitable period to ensure they have emptied their bowels prior to transport from infested properties.
  • Persons involved in the sale or distribution of soil, gravel, lime or other such materials from areas infested with burrs should seek alternative stock sources unless they can guarantee these materials are free of this plant.
  • Persons involved in the sale or distribution of agricultural produce, agricultural or roading machinery, stock, soil, gravel or other such materials likely to be contaminated burrs should take direction from any local, regional or state agricultural hygiene programs being implemented in the municipality.
  • Persons purchasing any items (eg. agricultural produce, machinery, livestock, soil, gravel or other such materials) likely to be contaminated with burrs should liaise with suppliers for guarantees of burr free goods and materials and keep accurate records of their purchase transactions. Buyers discovering burr contamination post-purchase should implement practices that reduce the potential for the establishment and spread of this plant. These include, creating dedicated areas for the wash down of purchased machinery and vehicles, feeding out purchased fodder and grain in specified, small areas, penning suspect stock for external inspection and carefully monitoring any suspect soil, gravel or other such materials for the emergence of this weed.

7. Measures to reduce the number of burr plants, eradicate burrs from an area or restrict burrs to a particular area:

An Inspector may, by serving a notice on the owner of any place, require that owner to implement any of the measures described in this part of the weed management plan or any other measures consistent with it.

It is an offence against section 13(3) of the Act to fail to comply with a requirement notice issued by an Inspector. A person who fails to comply with that notice may be issued with an infringement fine of 8 penalty units. A person convicted of that offence in court may be liable to a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding 5 penalty units for each day during which the offence continues.

Persons or organisations upon whose properties burrs occur should undertake the following:
  • Planning and implementation of an integrated control plan, the aim of which is eradication of burrs. Such a plan for burrs should include an inventory of burr infestations in the area to which the plan relates, well-defined objectives, practicable control actions, follow-up actions, a realistic timeline and a budget, as a minimum. Regional Weed Management Officers or Inspectors may be contacted for advice on developing integrated control plans.
  • Seek information about supporting any council endorsed plans relating to burr management in their municipality.
  • Seek cooperation with neighbouring property owners when burr control measures are being planned or implemented.
    Other general measures:
Persons or organisations responsible for managing land that is currently free of burrs should undertake prevention measures, especially when that land is suited to burr establishment. Such prevention measures include:
  • developing an ability to identify the plant;
  • noting its occurrence and progress on nearby properties or transport corridors;
  • undertaking control of small outbreaks without delay:
  • arranging on-site biosecurity for, or not bringing or allowing onto the property livestock, agricultural produce, vehicles, machinery, soil, gravel, lime or other such material that may be contaminated with burrs.
A Regional Weed Management Officer may be contacted for advice on keeping areas free of burrs.
  • Persons performing contract work of an agricultural, utility maintenance, roading or earthmoving nature, on-site consultations or assessments, deliveries or other visits in areas or properties infested with burrs should undertake appropriate hygiene measures. These include thorough visual checks upon clothing, footwear, vehicles and machinery and, cleaning of the same, prior to leaving the infested property. Developing a check-list will help ensure such routines are rigorous and consistent. Materials or items likely to be contaminated with burrs should not be moved from burr infested areas or to burr free areas until any contamination risks have been minimised.
  • Persons wishing to dispose of burrs or any thing contaminated with burrs should contact an Inspector or a Regional Weed Management Officer first, in order to receive direction upon how best to do this. Note that municipal waste disposal facilities vary in their acceptance and handling of declared weeds. Municipal waste disposal managers should be contacted for details.
  • Persons wishing to transport burrs or any thing contaminated with burrs, for the purpose of disposal, should ensure this is undertaken in a manner that does not permit the release of seeds or other material. Measures include securing material in bags or under tarpaulins prior to transport, checking material at regular intervals during long journeys or during windy conditions, and adequately cleaning vehicles after the materials have been unloaded.

8. Storage in a specified area of any thing contaminated with the declared weed:

Any thing found to be contaminated with burrs may be removed to storage at an appropriate approved quarantine place. A Regional Weed Management Officer will determine whether removal to storage at any of these facilities or treatment/destruction of material in situ is most appropriate.

Failure to comply with this requirement is an offence against section 51(1) of the Act. A person found committing that offence may incur an infringement fine of 4 penalty units. A person convicted of that offence in court may be liable to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units.

The Secretary may exempt a person from this requirement under section 60 of the Act.

To avoid committing this offence, actions including but not limited to the following should be undertaken:
  • A person who discovers or suspects he/she possesses any thing, (eg. hay, grain, livestock, machinery, soil, gravel) contaminated with burrs should contact an Inspector or a Regional Weed Management Officer. The contaminated thing should not be moved, disturbed, treated or disposed of prior to making this contact. If burrs are confirmed, the person will be directed and advised in the proper management, including storage or disposal options, of the contaminated thing.

9. Any other measures the Minister considers appropriate to control the weed:

There are no other measures appropriate for the management of burrs in Tasmania at this time.

10. Exemptions:

A person may apply for an exemption from any of provisions of the Act that relate to burrs. He/she should contact a Regional Weed Management Officer to discuss the reasons for seeking the exemption and obtain an exemption application form.

Persons granted an exemption should ensure they understand fully, any conditions specified in the exemption. Queries can be directed to a Regional Weed Management Officer.

11. Review of this weed management plan:

A review of this weed management plan may be undertaken at least once every five years if it is necessary and desirable to do so. The review will incorporate consultation with stakeholders deemed appropriate by the Secretary, DPIWE.

Table 1. Distribution of burrs in Tasmania by municipality at 09/03.

Note:Distribution based on Tasmanian Herbarium and DPIWE records.

Municipality Burr distribution Management measures *
Break O'DayNone recordedPrevention and early detection
BrightonNone recordedPrevention and early detection
BurnieNone recordedPrevention and early detection
Central CoastNone recordedPrevention and early detection
Central HighlandsNone recordedPrevention and early detection
Circular HeadNone recordedPrevention and early detection
ClarenceIsolated occurrences Eradicate existing infestations and prevent future occurrences.
Derwent ValleyNone recordedPrevention and early detection
DevonportPrevious occurrences, none recorded now.Prevention and early detection
DorsetNone recordedPrevention and early detection
Flinders None recordedPrevention and early detection
George TownNone recordedPrevention and early detection
Glamorgan/Spring BayNone recordedPrevention and early detection
GlenorchyNone recordedPrevention and early detection
HobartIsolated occurrences Eradicate existing infestations and prevent future occurrences.
Huon ValleyNone recordedPrevention and early detection
KentishNone recordedPrevention and early detection
King IslandNone recordedPrevention and early detection
KingboroughNone recordedPrevention and early detection
LatrobeNone recordedPrevention and early detection
LauncestonIsolated occurrences Eradicate existing infestations and prevent future occurrences.
Meander ValleyIsolated occurrences Eradicate existing infestations and prevent future occurrences.
Northern MidlandsNone recordedPrevention and early detection
SorellNone recordedPrevention and early detection
Southern MidlandsNone recordedPrevention and early detection
TasmanNone recordedPrevention and early detection
Waratah/WynyardNone recordedPrevention and early detection
West CoastNone recordedPrevention and early detection
West TamarIsolated occurrences Eradicate existing infestations and prevent future occurrences.


* When a DPIW approved weed management strategy that has local council endorsement exists, management of this declared weed in the municipality concerned should occur with direct reference to that strategy.

 
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