Australia's terrestrial and aquatic animal health management policies and programs are coordinated nationally by a series of government committees.
The committees range from scientific (technical/operational) committees devoted to animal health up to a forum at ministerial level where a part of its work addresses animal health issues that require high-level policy endorsement.
National Biosecurity Committee (NBC)
The NBC was established in July 2008 to provide strategic leadership in managing national approaches to emerging and ongoing biosecurity policy issues across jurisdictions and sectors, and to provide advice to Agricultural Senior Officials Committee and Agricultural Ministers Forum. The NBC takes an overarching, cross-sectoral approach to national biosecurity policy, and works collaboratively to achieve national policy objectives for biosecurity in Australia.
All biosecurity issues (including environmental, animal and plant biosecurity issues) are considered by the NBC with a view to resolution or the development of advice to the Agricultural Senior Officials Committee and the Agricultural Ministers Forum as appropriate.
The NBC meets twice yearly in February and August.
For further information contact the NBC Secretariat.
Animal Health Committee (AHC)
AHC is a sub-committee of the NBC. The chief veterinary officers (CVOs) of Australia and of the states and territories, along with representatives from CSIRO, Animal Health Australia, and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries form the committee.
AHC's primary purpose is to develop science-based and nationally consistent policy on animal health issues, and to provide advice as necessary on animal health to NBC.
The committee drives and manages high level strategic policy development, operational strategies and standards for government in animal health, domestic quarantine, animal welfare and veterinary public health. It also provides a mechanism to enable national consultation and to facilitate a nationally consistent government approach to animal health and welfare issues of concern to government and other stakeholders. Read more about AHC.
Sub–Committee on Aquatic Animal Health (SCAAH) is an advisory committee to the Animal Health Committee (AHC). SCAAH provides scientific and technical advice to AHC on aquatic animal health issues, including national policy and program development. SCAAH considers issues including those that affect the wild capture and recreational fishing industries, aquaculture industries and the ornamental fish industry. SCAAH comprises representation from the Australian, state and Northern Territory and New Zealand governments, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Australian Animal Health Laboratory (CSIRO AAHL) and Australian universities. SCAAH is chaired by a member of AHC. Read more about SCAAH.
The Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Diseases (CCEAD) meets when required to coordinate the national response to emergency animal disease incidents.
The National Emergency Animal Disease Management Group (NMG) is the decision-making body and reviews the advice given by CCEAD relating to emergency disease response policy and funding mechanisms. It comprises of the Chief Executive Officers of state and territory and Australian Government departments of agriculture (or equivalents), as well as industry representatives.