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Bad News If You Want Prawns This Christmas

Three consignments of imported raw prawns have tested positive for white spot disease since an importation ban was lifted almost five months ago.

It's been a year since white spot was detected in the Logan River south of Brisbane, crippling Queensland's multi-million dollar prawn industry.

While not proven, imported uncooked prawns are one suspected cause of the outbreak.

The federal government banned raw prawn imports in January but lifted the ban in July.

Since then, three consignments have tested positive despite an enhanced biosecurity regime that requires exporting countries to certify their shipments are white spot-free.

The federal agriculture department confirmed the three positive tests in a statement on Thursday.

It has demanded answers from the countries that exported the diseased prawns, but has not said which countries are involved.

The department says tougher rules governing uncooked prawn imports are working, despite the positive tests.

Of the 135 consignments imported since the ban was lifted, 97 have tested negative for white spot and three positive, with 35 still being held pending results.

"These results support the effectiveness of biosecurity measures that have been implemented by the department," a spokesperson for the department said.


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