GSGSSI Biosecurity Handbook

23rd September 2022

The latest version of the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Biosecurity Handbook is now available to download here.

The Handbook details the procedures which are in place to help reduce the risk of harmful non-native species and disease entering the Territory and steps in place to detect them and limit their spread should they arrive.

New for this year is guidance on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). A recent outbreak of HPAI has resulted in the death of high numbers of seabirds in the

Northern Hemisphere, the south of Africa and around the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is expected that this outbreak will spread to Southern Ocean bird populations in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 austral summers.

In readiness for this GSGSSI has provided specific guidance on enhanced biosecurity procedures in light of HPAI risk. These include information on:

  • Requirements for a 5 minute observation period before entering areas of high wildlife density including what signs to be vigilant for.
  • Enhanced biosecurity and PPE for those working in close proximity to wildlife.
  • Steps for dealing with bird strike on ships or on shore.
  • Actions GSGSSI will take on receiving reports of a suspected outbreak.

It is important that all visitors to the Territory familiarise themselves with this guidance and are ready to act should signs of HPAI be detected.

Detailed information on the background, mode of transmission and risks associated with HPAI can be found here.