The Invasive Species Council considers the Import risk review for psittacine birds from all countries highly inadequate because:
the risk assessments downplay the potentially very serious consequences of diseases for Australia’s parrots and cockatoos, particularly threatened species, and the overall risks
• the proposed biosecurity measures are insufficient to reduce the risks of new diseases entering Australia to ‘very low’ consistent with Australia’s ALOP
• the review overlooks the risks of some pathogens or new pathogen genotypes that could be introduced to Australia with imported parrots and cockatoos.
At stake are extremely high conservation values – Australia is a conservation hotspot for parrots and cockatoos, with many threatened species. Twenty taxa were assessed under The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010 as threatened or near threatened. The introduction of pathogens can have catastrophic impacts on wildlife, as exemplified by the extinction of several frog species in Australia due to chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), the extinction of several bird species in Hawaii due to malaria parasite (Plasmodium relictum), severe declines in microbats in the United States due to white nose syndrome fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans) and severe declines in Australian plants due to Phytophthora cinnamomi and myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii).
We strongly recommend that the current ban on importing psittacine birds remains in place. The 1995 ban was imposed due to an inability to properly determine and address the risks. This remains the case.