Batch testing and wild bettas

188 posts in this topic

Posted

Basically they're saying you can only appeal on the grounds of personal hardship. i would have thought that would have been the case with Jodi. So I hope Jodi that you can make another submission that fits into their rules. I guess all the appeal does is to buy you a bit of time to adjust to the new rules. What I don't understand is why they bother to publish the science behind the IRA report in the first place. Why not just publish the conclusions?

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Posted

What I don't understand is why they bother to publish the science behind the IRA report in the first place. Why not just publish the conclusions?

Because the government is all about transparency.... stick_poke.gif

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Posted

The DAFF is using the "Argument from Authority" logical fallacy: "You can't question our bad science, neh neh". This is not how science or democracy work.

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Posted

how dare you question the DAFF(T) report!!!! :P

Like Stefan says... seems they think themselves infallible and how dare we question that!

When all else fails.... tweet from the treetops and hope someone with influence listens!

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Posted

I'm rethinking our Twitter approach. I wonder if it would be better if we only ever tweet an MP, journalist or show, once. So if there are 10 of us tweeting that day, Tony Burke only gets 10 tweets. But they're from 10 different people. Not 10 tweets from the same person. I don't think we can hide that we are few. Hopefully this situation will change and it will be great to get to the stage where Tony Burke gets 200 tweets from 200 different people every day. But in the meantime I think we just appear lame when 4 of us send 20 tweets each to Leigh Sales. What do you guys think?

And we definitely need to explore other activities. Wayne, we should both definitely do the YouTubes we were talking about yesterday. And Stefan came up with some good ideas and emailed some bloggers this evening. I'll let him provide the details when he's next on.

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Posted

Good ideas Michael.... I haven't done any retweets - been having too much fun making up tweets myself but you're right about what you say ... perhaps we need to get a list of people to tweet to - media/politicians/organisations/etc and tweet them once per day with others who don't have original tweets can retweet as well....

Now the video idea is also good to go with - just need a tiny Dir Quarantine doll to put in the tank with a giant betta - revenge of the killer betta!!!! muahahahahahahaha!!!!!

Will look forward to hearing Stefan's ideas too.... I'm going to get that poster that was linked to earlier and add the details of our twitter campaign and put them up at local fish shops... see if we can get some of the public and LFS owners in on the campaign too.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with you guys :)

I emailed several absolutely awesome bloggers and podcasters whose blogs and podcasts I subscribe to:

Dr. Rachael Dunlop, http://www.skepticzone.tv/index.htm

Maggie, http://scepticsbook.com/

Dr. PZ Myers, http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/

Dr. Ben Goldacre, http://www.badscience.net/about-dr-ben-goldacre/

and the Skeptics Guide to the Universe team, http://www.theskepticsguide.org/sgu.aspx, (I emailed the host Steve Novella, MD: SNovella AT theness DOT com because the SGU email address bounced my email).

This is the email I sent them:

Title: Bad science used by Biosecurity Australia report to destroy the Australian aquarium industry

Message:

Dear ________,

I am an avid [reader/listener of/to] your [blog/podcast] and I know how effective you are at raising awareness about stories that involve the real-world effects of faulty science.

I am a university student undergoing the second year of my Bachelor of Biotechnology and Cell Biology. I am also an aquarium hobbyist, specializing in show-quality Betta splendens. A small group of my fellow aquarists have begun a grassroots campaign against a scientifically and ethically flawed report produced for consideration by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. If its recommendations become quarantine regulations, it could result in the decimation of the Australian and Asian aquarium industries.

The report uses flawed science and assumptions to support its recommendations that in order for a range of imported aquarium fish to be allowed past quarantine, they must be batch-tested for contamination by exotic iridoviruses, or be sourced from iridovirus-free areas. The report itself concedes that these viruses have already been detected in Australia anyway, and that a significant percentage of control fish also tested positive for these viruses. Overseas iridovirus-free areas are unlikely to be easily identified nor able to supply the numbers, diversity or quality of fish, so batch-testing will probably be the main type of control measure. In batch-testing, a high percentage of every group of imported fish will be killed and tested for contamination. It should not be necessary to kill the fish, as there should be sufficient virus in the blood and tissue from fin clippings to perform PCR. If they are clean, the few living fish that weren't tested are released to the importer. If they are contaminated, the entire batch is destroyed. The importer will be required to pay for all the fish they import including those destroyed, as well as pay for the testing. All this means that small importers will no longer be able to afford to import, jobs will be lost, and aquarium hobbyists like me will no longer have access to the amount, quality and diversity of aquarium fish we currently do.

An appeal is underway between several major stakeholders and the DAFF regarding the report. Unfortunately, smaller stakeholders and hobbyists were not involved in the appeal, and the major stakeholders, and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, do not appear to be doing anything to ensure that the report is rejected. It has also come to light that the appeals panel does not consider appeals that criticize the science of the report. This is outrageous.

The report in question is this: http://www.daff.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/1709952/2010_22_Prov_Final_Irido_IRA_report_100722.pdf

More information can be found on our Facebook Group and our Twittter campaign: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=150908138262236 https://twitter.com/#search?q=%23batchtesting

We would very much appreciate your help in publicizing this issue to your audience.

Many thanks,

Stefan Psarakos

Edited by splendidbetta

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Posted

just an idea,

With the prawn imports, a test on local produce showing the suspect virus already existed in the local population was used to defeat the proposed legislation. Could we get a test done for irridovirus and do the same?

Bec

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Posted

what are u guys saying bout a twibbon ?

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Posted

if you look at peoples avatars on twitter some of us have a red ribbon with a red betta on it. thats a twibbon. link to it: http://twibbon.com/join/SaveTheAusAquariumIndustry

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Posted

Using that link you can also add a Twibbon to your Facebook profile. The Twibbons work best if your Twitter pic is 73 x 73 pixels and your Facebook pic is 200 x 200 pixels. And in case you were wondering, the red represents BLOOD!

OK, it doesn't really. Actually Stefan chose red randomly when he was recolouring his 3D sympk drawing. *lol*

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Posted

A good random coincidence then ! works well :D

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Posted

I was whining to a work colleague about the appeals process today. This is a non-fish loving work colleague who has the misfortune to sit opposite me and has to endure my constant complaining. As soon as I said we can't appeal on science she was absolutely outraged. This, from someone who would be completely unaffected by the batch testing recommendation. She asked all the questions we've all been asking and finally Googled "batch testing fishes". This thread comes up as the No. 3 result!! And the entry that follows it is a petition that was put up a few weeks ago. It doesn't seem to have been publicised much because there are only 4 signature. Two from the same person and the next two are my colleague and me. There is also another petition currently being drafted on the Aquarium Life biosecurity thread. The suggestion there is that we should hold off on the petition until after the IRA appeals panel meets on Monday. Personally, I'm inclined to sign every petition that comes my way and then make my Facebook friends sign them all as well.

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Posted

Now, everyone who just googled 'batch testing fish' put your hand up *hand up* .. lol.. Im hoping Im not the only odd one.. :blush:

I really cant say much to this, I signed up to twitter and have been retweeting things.. I really dont understand much about this, only that its insane, and any logical person would see this.. hmm, whats that say about politicians? :P

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Posted

I signed the petition :)

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Posted

I think the World trade organisation would be a good place to start allocating our time and resources too. But does anyone know if a countries political ministers (thailand, singapore) need to be the ones to start the process of the WTO dispute settlement.

They seem to be quite a powerful body. They have gotten involved in the ban on NZ apples, which is also a BSG matter.

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Posted

I signed too... 6 of us have signed today....

The WTO has a public forum - PUBLIC FORUM, 15-17 September 2010 - to discuss issues relating to “The Forces Shaping World Trade” - anyone fancy a trip? :)

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Posted

The WTO has a public forum - PUBLIC FORUM, 15-17 September 2010 - to discuss issues relating to “The Forces Shaping World Trade” - anyone fancy a trip? :)

Could win a trip...

http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news10_e/pfor_26jul10_e.htm

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Posted (edited)

Petitions

It is the right of any person or organisation to petition Parliament. Petitions generally express views on matters of public policy and ask the Parliament to take—or, in some cases, not to take—a particular course of action.

Is it worth getting a petition going at every LFS we can and then collating them for a sympathetic senator to present for us?

Edited by fishbites

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Posted

Is it worth getting a petition going at every LFS we can and then collating them for a sympathetic senator to present for us?

If we can get enough sigs I can send one to Sen. Humphries.

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Posted

I think the more petitions the better, in the hope that one or two of them will get the attention of the Senate. As I see it, local, hard copy pettions based at LFS is kinda hard work. It's definitely worth it if you're willing to do the hard yakka. I guess there are quite a few people who visit LFSs regularly so maybe it's doable.

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Posted

Not sure how many sigs we can get locally here but there's 5 LFS within 2 local towns and another 3 just up the road I could get petitions started at - if we all have the same petition we could all get them to one person to give to a senator perhaps? Maybe to MJay and on to Senator Humphries?

Maybe even the wording on the petitions website could suffice... what does everyone think?

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Posted (edited)

I've already gotten a petition and a bunch of bits and bobs from someone, will take it to Coburg Aquarium probably this weekend. Can also take a copy to the LFS thats near Vic Market probably end of next week I'll be over that way. Hopefully both will be happy to place it somewhere customers can sign.

That ok with everyone?

Edited by fishish

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Posted

I thought it was time to start to do some thing

I got your email razzie about the Twibbons.

I thought I had it all under control and the page got/gets stuck in a loop???

Has anyone else had the same problem?

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Posted

Try again Jo. Were you trying to add it to your Facebook? Or twitter?

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