The federal government has suspended the importation of green prawns after white spot disease was detected in prawns sold at shops.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says it’s possible imported green prawns are responsible for a white spot disease outbreak that’s hit prawn farms in Queensland’s Logan River.

“That is a huge concern – it has the capacity to devastate the industry,” he told ABC TV on Friday.

Mr Joyce says prawns with white spot disease are not dangerous to human health and are safe for consumption once cooked.

But he’s urging consumers who’ve bought raw green prawns not to put them in water ways, like using them as bait for fishing, with fears it could contaminate local prawns.

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Mr Joyce said a white spot disease outbreak could devastate Australia’s $360 million prawn industry.

The suspension would remain in place indefinitely until risks were minimised, but won’t affect imported cooked prawns, he said.

“I would rather deal with this action than … the ramifications that we didn’t take all mechanisms at our disposal to try to make sure that we eradicate the disease, and stop the possibility of further spread of the disease,.”

Source: AAP

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