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Logan prawn farms in limbo over white spot

AAP logoAAP 12/12/2016

Queensland's agriculture and fisheries minister has ruled out compensation for Logan prawn farmers following a devastating outbreak of white spot disease.

But Bill Byrne says he's assured the prawn farmers they will be supported as Biosecurity Queensland attempts to contain the disease.

Biosecurity experts remain confident they can manage the spread of white spot as eight prawn farms along the Logan River have had restrictions placed on movement in and out of their properties.

Three have tested positive for the disease which threatens to wipe out their stock and puts their farms' futures in doubt.

Biosecurity Queensland says de-stocking has been completed at one farm while it was ongoing at the other two.

It said the virus had been detected once before in a batch of imported prawns from the Northern Territory in 2000.

"The virus was contained and eradicated," Biosecurity Queensland said in a statement.

Mr Byrne said tracing investigations were under way about the cause of the outbreak but admitted it may never be confirmed.

He met with prawn farmers on Sunday and on Monday confirmed he had received a request from the Queensland Seafood Industry Association for compensation on behalf of prawn trawler operators affected by the movement control order on the Logan River.

"I have explained in reply that the movement control order is a response to a biosecurity incident," the fisheries minister said.

"There is no compensation mechanism in legislation and we are not operating under a national deed.

"While biosecurity efforts are centred on containing the disease I have told the farmers that the Palaszczuk government will support them back into disease-free production."

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