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South Perth, Australia

The Department of Agriculture and Food is a Western Australian government department responsible for regulating and advancing agricultural and food industries within the state. The Minister for Agriculture and Food, currently Ken Baston of the Liberal Party, is responsible for the department.In 2004 the department had operating costs of $215,000,000 approx with $120,000,000 provided directly by the state government. The balance was from Federal Government grants, public operating activities and user charges and fees.This department is also responsible for Quarantine control on all plants, soil and animal products brought into the state. The Agricultural Protection Board is also part of this and responsible for the eradication of pests in WA including the Rainbow Lorikeet, Skeleton weed, and Portuguese millipedes . Wikipedia.

Morin L.,CSIRO | Paini D.R.,CSIRO | Randall R.P.,Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Predicting which plant taxa are more likely to become weeds in a region presents significant challenges to both researchers and government agencies. Often it is done in a qualitative or semi-quantitative way. In this study, we explored the potential of using the quantitative self-organising map (SOM) approach to analyse global weed assemblages and estimate likelihoods of plant taxa becoming weeds before and after they have been moved to a new region. The SOM approach examines plant taxa associations by analysing where a taxon is recorded as a weed and what other taxa are recorded as weeds in those regions. The dataset analysed was extracted from a pre-existing, extensive worldwide database of plant taxa recorded as weeds or other related status and, following reformatting, included 187 regions and 6690 plant taxa. To assess the value of the SOM approach we selected Australia as a case study. We found that the key and most important limitation in using such analytical approach lies with the dataset used. The classification of a taxon as a weed in the literature is not often based on actual data that document the economic, environmental and/or social impact of the taxon, but mostly based on human perceptions that the taxon is troublesome or simply not wanted in a particular situation. The adoption of consistent and objective criteria that incorporate a standardized approach for impact assessment of plant taxa will be necessary to develop a new global database suitable to make predictions regarding weediness using methods like SOM. It may however, be more realistic to opt for a classification system that focuses on the invasive characteristics of plant taxa without any inference to impacts, which to be defined would require some level of research to avoid bias from human perceptions and value systems. © 2013 Morin et al.

Cornelius M.P.,Murdoch University | Jacobson C.,Murdoch University | Besier R.B.,Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food
Veterinary Parasitology | Year: 2014

Sheep nematode control utilising refugia-based strategies have been shown to delay anthelmintic resistance, but the optimal indices to select individuals to be left untreated under extensive sheep grazing conditions are not clear. This experiment tested the hypothesis that high body condition can indicate ability of mature sheep to better cope with worms and therefore remain untreated in a targeted treatment programme. Adult Merino ewes from flocks on two private farms located in south-west Western Australia (Farm A, n = 271, and Farm B, n = 258) were measured for body condition score (BCS), body weight and worm egg counts (WEC) on four occasions between May and December (pre-lambing, lamb marking, lamb weaning and post-weaning). Half of the ewes in each flock received anthelmintic treatments to suppress WEC over the experimental period and half remained untreated (unless critical limits were reached). Response to treatment was analysed in terms of BCS change and percentage live weight change. No effect of high or low initial WEC groups was shown for BCS response, and liveweight responses were inconsistent. A relatively greater BCS response to treatment was observed in ewes in low BCS pre-lambing compared to better-conditioned ewes on one farm where nutrition was sub-optimal and worm burdens were high. Sheep in low body condition pre-lambing were more than three times more likely to fall into a critically low BCS (<2.0) if left untreated. Recommendations can be made to treat ewes in lower BCS and leave a proportion of the higher body condition sheep untreated in a targeted selective treatment programme, to provide a population of non-resistant worms to delay the development of resistance. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Bondonno C.P.,University of Western Australia | Croft K.D.,University of Western Australia | Ward N.,University of Western Australia | Considine M.J.,University of Western Australia | And 2 more authors.
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2015

Emerging evidence highlights dietary flavonoids and nitrate as candidates that may explain at least part of the cardioprotective effect of a fruit and vegetable diet. Nitric oxide plays a pivotal role in cardiovascular health. Components of a fruit and vegetable diet that are cardioprotective, in part through effects on nitric oxide status, could substantially reduce the cardiovascular risk profile of the general population with increased intake of such a diet. Epidemiological evidence suggests that dietary flavonoids and nitrate have a cardioprotective effect. Clinical trials with flavonoid- and nitrate-rich foods have shown benefits on measures of vascular health. While the molecular mechanisms by which flavonoids and nitrate are cardioprotective are not completely understood, recent evidence suggests both nonspecific and specific effects through nitric oxide pathways. This review presents an overview of nitric oxide and its key role in cardiovascular health and discusses the possible vascular benefits of flavonoids and nitrate, individually and in combination, through effects on nitric oxide status. © The Author(s) 2015.

Williams A.R.,University of Western Australia | Palmer D.G.,Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2012

Diarrhoea is a major impediment to profitable sheep production in many countries as it predisposes animals to blowfly strike and contaminates wool and meat carcasses. While it is accepted that nematode parasites are a major cause of diarrhoea in grazing animals, less is known about what facets of the host-parasite relationship lead to diarrhoea and what the most appropriate control strategies are. In this review, the relationship between gastrointestinal nematode infection and diarrhoea is discussed and it is concluded that in many cases, particularly in immunologically mature sheep, diarrhoea is not due to parasite infection per se but rather due to immunopathological processes. Mechanisms that lead to faecal softening in immune sheep are considered, and the question addressed as to whether anthelmintic treatment and selective breeding of naturally parasite-resistant sheep will effectively reduce the occurrence of diarrhoea. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Watson I.W.,CSIRO | Novelly P.E.,Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2012

Thresholds and transitions between vegetation states are accepted components of models of rangeland dynamics. By definition, transitions represent changes from one state to another that are enduring, and are unlikely to be reversed within an acceptable management time frame or without significant inputs of management. A monitoring dataset, containing 306 grassland sites and 919 shrubland sites, was used to identify transitions that have occurred in the pastoral rangelands of Western Australia between 1993 and 2010. The grassland sites were assessed on five occasions and the shrubland sites on three occasions. Transition between vegetation states was assessed using the expert knowledge of the authors. A total of 11% of the grassland sites and 1% of the shrubland sites were determined to have undergone a transition, negative as well as positive from a pastoral perspective, over the sampling period. It is argued that, once a transition has occurred, both pastoral managers and government regulators need to adjust to the new conditions, altering management to best address the new state and altering regulatory expectations so that range condition is assessed within the context of the current state and its further capacity to change. © Australian Rangeland Society 2012.

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