Commonly Used Terms

On this page, you can find selected definitions of biosecurity and other related terms from organizations and agencies in this region.  Please note that these definitions are not exhaustive.  If you know of any that are not here, please contact us.  Finally, these definitions may not represent official definitions of governments.

Asia & the Pacific


From The Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre for Emerging Infectious Disease:“Biosecurity’ is the protection of people, animals and ecological systems against disease and other biological threats.  Biosecurity is achieved through systems that aim to protect public health, animal and plant industries, and the environment, from the entry, establishment and spread of unwanted pests and diseases.”–ABCRC, About Biosecurity

New Zealand

From The Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MoRST): “Biosecurity refers to measures that protect New Zealand’s economy, environment and people from exotic pests and diseases. It includes preventing new pests and diseases arriving, and eradicating or controlling those already here.”– MoRST, Biosecurity

North America

The United States

From the National Academy of Sciences: “Finally, the term ‘biosecurity’ is used to refer to security against the inadvertent, inappropriate, or intentional malicious or malevolent use of potentially dangerous biological agents or biotechnology, including the development, production, stockpiling, or use of biological weapons as well as natural outbreaks of newly emergent and epidemic diseases. Although it is not used as often as it is in other settings, to refer to a situation where adequate food and basic health are assured, there may be significant overlap in measures that guarantee ‘biosecurity’ in either sense.” –Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences (2006)