Terms used under the Biosecurity Act


Biosecurity Consideration
A Biosecurity Consideration can be human health, social amenity, the economy or the environment.
Biosecurity Event
A Biosecurity Event is an event that is, was or may become a significant problem for human health, social amenity, the economy or the environment, and is was or may be caused by a pest, disease or contaminant.
Biosecurity Matter
Biosecurity Matter is a:
  • living thing, other than a human or part of a human
  • pathogenic agent that can cause disease in a
    • living thing, other than a human
    • human by the transmission of the pathogenic agent from the animal to the human
  • disease
  • contaminant.
Biosecurity Risk
A Biosecurity Risk is a risk of any adverse effect on a biosecurity consideration. A risk is or may be caused by:
  • biosecurity matter
  • dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier
  • carrying out an activity relating to biosecurity matter or a carrier.
A Carrier is any animal or plant, or part of any animal or plant, or any other thing*:
  • capable of moving biosecurity matter from a place to another place
  • containing biosecurity matter that may attach to or enter
    • another animal or plant
    • part of another animal or plant
    • another thing.
*A thing in this context is alive, dead or inanimate and includes a human.
A Contaminant is anything that may be harmful to animal or plant health or pose a risk of any adverse effect on a biosecurity consideration.
Deal With
The Act uses the term Deal With in the context of dealing with biosecurity matter or a carrier. The Act clarifies that to "deal with" includes: to keep or possess, experiment with, produce, breed, propagate, use, grow, feed, culture, distribute, import, transport, dispose of, buy or supply.
Designated Biosecurity Matter
Designated Biosecurity Matter is biosecurity matter prescribed under a regulation as designated biosecurity matter. However, it cannot include a designated animal, a pathogenic agent that can cause disease, a disease or a contaminant.
General Biosecurity Obligation
The General Biosecurity Obligation requires everyone to:
  • manage biosecurity risks under their control
  • take all reasonable and practical steps to prevent or minimise each biosecurity risk
  • minimise the likelihood of causing a biosecurity event, and limit the consequences if such an event is caused
  • minimise the adverse effects on a biosecurity consideration of dealing with a biosecurity matter or carrier
  • not do anything that exacerbates the biosecurity risk; and not omitting to do something if omitting to do that thing would exacerbate the risk.
Precautionary Principle
The Precautionary Principle means that a lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to delay taking action to prevent a biosecurity event or responding to a biosecurity risk.
Prohibited Matter
Prohibited Matter is biosecurity matter not currently present or known to be present in Queensland. It is prohibited because it may have a significant adverse effect on a biosecurity consideration if it did enter Queensland.
Restricted Matter
Restricted Matter is biosecurity matter found in Queensland that may have adverse effects on a biosecurity consideration if conditions or restrictions under the Act were not imposed.

Disease tracing and contaminants

Approved Device
An Approved Device is a tag or other identifying device that is fitted to a special designated animal to distinguish it from other animals.
Biosecurity Circumstance
A Biosecurity Circumstance is the keeping of designated animals or the holding of designated biosecurity matter.
Biosecurity Register
The Biosecurity Register is a list of registered biosecurity entities and restricted places that must be kept by the Chief Executive and published on the department's website.
Designated Animals
Designated Animals are cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, deer, the family Camelidae (which includes alpacas, Arabian camels and llamas), the family Equidae (which includes horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, zebras), captive birds and honey bees.
Designated Show Animal
A Designated Show Animal is a designated animal other than a pig, ruminant or a captive bird (other than a raptor) that is used in a circus, show or exhibition.
A person holds designated biosecurity matter if they have title to it including the day-to-day control of it, whether or not that control is exercised personally or through an agent or employee of the person.
A person keeps a designated animal if the person is responsible for the care and control of the animal, whether or not the care and control is exercised through an agent or employee of the person.
Registrable Biosecurity Entity
Registrable Biosecurity Entity is a person that keeps the threshold number or more of designated animals; or holds the threshold amount or more of designated biosecurity matter.
Restricted Agricultural Show
A Restricted Agricultural Show is a show that lasts no more than 96 hours, and where no more than 500 special designated animals that have all come from the same place, attend.
Restricted Place
The Chief Executive can declare a particular place (e.g. a parcel of land) in Queensland as a Restricted Place if it poses a biosecurity risk. The declaration must include how the use of the place is to be restricted.
Special Designated Animals
Special Designated Animals (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, bison, buffalo, alpacas and llamas) require specified tags and must have their movements reported as part of the traceability requirements under the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS).

Local government

Barrier Fence
The Barrier Fence is the fence built along the lines shown as the 'wild dog barrier fence', the 'wild dog check fence' and the 'rabbit fence' on the barrier fence map.
Biosecurity Plan
A Biosecurity Plan is a plan developed by local government which documents objectives for invasive biosecurity matter, and strategies, activities and responsibilities to achieve the objectives and inform the local community of the plan.
Invasive Animal Board
An Invasive Animal Board is an entity declared under a regulation to be an invasive animal board that manages an invasive animal and a barrier fence.
Invasive Biosecurity Matter
Invasive Biosecurity Matter is managed by each local government in their respective area and is defined under the Act in Schedule 1, parts 3 and 4 (or under a prohibited matter regulation or emergency prohibited matter regulation) relating to prohibited matter and Schedule 2, part 2 (or under a restricted    matter    regulation) relating to restricted matter.

Emergencies and risks

Biosecurity Emergency Order
A Biosecurity Emergency Order is made by the chief executive to isolate an emergency area, to stop the spread of any biosecurity matter and, if practicable, to eradicate the biosecurity matter.
Biosecurity Emergency Order Permit
A Biosecurity Emergency Order Permit is a permit allowing a person not to comply with one or more of the requirements stipulated under a biosecurity emergency order. An inspector may grant the permit only if satisfied that it will not obstruct the effectiveness of the emergency biosecurity order and    will    not exacerbate adverse effects of the biosecurity emergency.
Biosecurity Instrument
A Biosecurity Instrument is a movement control order or biosecurity zone regulatory provision.
Biosecurity Instrument Permit
A Biosecurity Instrument Permit exempts a person from all, or part of, the requirements of a biosecurity zone regulatory provision or movement control order.
Biosecurity Zone
A Biosecurity Zone is a declaration of the whole or part of Queensland for managing, reducing or eradicating specified pests or diseases from inside or outside the zone.
Emergency Prohibited Matter Declaration
An Emergency Prohibited Matter Declaration is used to urgently list biosecurity matter posing a new biosecurity risk as prohibited matter, or to remove a listed prohibited matter.
Movement Control Order
A Movement Control Order is made by the chief executive to restrict the movement of biosecurity matter or the carriers of biosecurity matter for up to three months.

General tools under the Act

Biosecurity Program
A Biosecurity Program is a surveillance program or a prevention and control program.
Code of Practice
A Code of Practice is made by regulation about biosecurity. For example:
  • ways of minimising biosecurity risks
  • managing invasive animals and invasive plants and their impacts
  • hygiene standards
  • ways to prevent, control and stop the spread of biosecurity matter by a carrier
  • labelling requirements.
Prevention and Control Program
A Prevention and Control Program is used to prevent the entry, establishment or spread of biosecurity matter in an area that poses a significant biosecurity risk. It may also be used to manage, reduce or eradicate any biosecurity matter in an area that could pose a significant biosecurity risk.
Prohibited Matter Regulation
A Prohibited Matter Regulation is used when prompt action is required to declare a new prohibited matter or to declare that a prohibited matter is no longer a prohibited matter.
Prohibited or Restricted Matter Permit
A Prohibited or Restricted Matter Permit is issued by the Chief Executive to authorise a person to deal with specified prohibited or restricted matter.
Restricted Matter Regulation
A Restricted Matter Regulation is used when prompt action is required to declare a new restricted matter or to declare that a restricted matter is no longer a restricted matter.
Surveillance Program
A Surveillance Program is used to:
  • monitor compliance with the Act such as requirements about prohibited and restricted matter
  • confirm the presence, extent or absence of particular biosecurity matter
  • monitor the effect of measures taken to deal with a biosecurity risk
  • monitor levels of biosecurity matter, including levels in a carrier.


Biosecurity Certificate
A Biosecurity Certificate is a certificate which states whether the biosecurity matter or thing is free of prohibited matter, restricted matter or biosecurity matter or confirms the biosecurity matter or thing is from a stated place, meets specified requirements, is in a stated condition or has been    appropriately    treated.
Intergovernmental Agreement
An Intergovernmental Agreement is an agreement between Queensland and the Federal Government or another state, in which mutual recognition is acknowledged for the issuing, auditing and inspection of a biosecurity certification scheme.

Compliance and enforcement

Authorised Officer
An Authorised Officer is an authorised person or an inspector.
Authorised Person
An Authorised Person is appointed by either the Chief Executive or by a local government to enforce the Act.
Biosecurity Order
A Biosecurity Order may be issued by an authorised officer, when they form the belief that a person has or may breach their general biosecurity obligation, to minimise biosecurity risks and their impacts.
Notifiable Incident
A Notifiable Incident is a biosecurity event that must be notified to an Inspector. For example, designated animals with blisters on their mouths or feet, an abnormally high mortality rate or morbidity rate in plants or in designated animals, a sudden and unexplained fall in production relating to    plants    or    designated    animals    or    the    presence    of a contaminant in a carrier in an amount more than the maximum acceptable level.
Statutory Compensation
Statutory Compensation is a limited safety net for loss or damage that is not covered by a compensation scheme or a policy of insurance. Statutory compensation is only applicable for loss or damage that was not, or would not have become, infected or infested. For example, stock or crops destroyed to    create    a    buffer    zone    around    an    outbreak.