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Animal manure management in fire ant biosecurity zones

The Biosecurity Regulation 2016 prescribes management methods you must follow when storing and moving animal manure from a property within a fire ant biosecurity zone.

Moving manure within, across or outside the fire ant biosecurity zones

You may move animal manure within, across or outside the fire ant biosecurity zones if you:

  • transport material from zone 1 to a waste facility in zone 1 or 2
  • or
  • transport material from zone 2 directly to a waste facility in zone 2 only
  • or
  • move the material within 24 hours of it arriving at the original place
  • or
  • follow the management methods outlined below.

You can also use our fire ant advice tool to find out what requirements apply to you.

If you are unable to comply with these conditions then you must request a biosecurity instrument permit from a program inspector.

Management methods

The appropriate storage of animal manure will reduce the risk of infestation by fire ants.

Storage of animal manure

If the animal manure will remain on the property for over 24 hours, it must be covered and stored either on or off the ground.

On-ground storage

On-ground storage must be on either:

  • concrete or bitumen, that does not contain cracks
  • a barrier that cannot be penetrated by fire ants (e.g. 200 micron unperforated plastic sheeting)
  • an area of compacted ground, other than sand, that has been treated with an appropriate chemical product before storage.

Treatment is required around the storage area by applying a 30cm-wide strip of appropriate perimeter treatment.

Disturbing during storage

Anyone storing animal manure must either comply with the storage requirements above or disturb any stockpiles periodically to prevent fire ants building nests within the stockpile. This means undertaking an activity to disturb the stockpile:

  • every 21 days
  • and
  • 24 hours prior to moving the material to another location.

Activities to disturb a material include any combination of turning, screening, crushing, shredding, chipping or washing.

Treatment of animal manure

Use an insecticide containing 80g/L bifenthrin. Keep the treated area free of material that could form an untreated 'bridge' to the manure.

For an insecticide registered as a horizontal or perimeter barrier for fire ants, refer to Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) permit number PER14317 (expires 31 December 2021).

You can search for permits on the APVMA website.

Insecticides must be used in accordance with the conditions of the APVMA permit, the safety data sheet (SDS), and in conjunction with the product's label.

Keeping a record

Keep a written record of the steps you have taken to ensure the animal manure is stored correctly, including chemical treatment records and/or disturbance activities. Keep these records for a minimum of 2 years.

For further information, contact a National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program inspector on 13 25 23.

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