Animal Health Committee 23 Face to Face, 3–4 April 2013
Welcome to the Animal Health Committee (AHC) newsletter for animal industry bodies. The aim of the Vetcommunique is to provide a communication link between AHC and industry bodies.
AHC meetings are attended by the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of the Commonwealth, States and Territories, the New Zealand CVO and representatives from Animal Health Australia (AHA), Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), Animal Division (DAFF) and Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC). National Industry association representatives and industry representatives from the host jurisdiction also attend an AHC – industry forum.
AHC met on 3–4 April 2013 in Wellington, New Zealand. Dr Rick Symons is the Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer and AHC Chair for 2013
Further information on the structure of AHC can be found on the DAFF website.
Key outcomes from AHC23 F2F
Key issues discussed by AHC included:
Progress report on the FMD Task Force activities:
- how to regain business continuity after an outbreak
- auditing of national destruction and disposal capacity
- involvement of the dairy and wool industries in risk analysis review
- FMD real–time training
- engagement of private practitioners in a response.
The FMD Taskforce will conclude its work at the end of June 2013 and key priorities and activities will be incorporated into ongoing routine business.
Australia’s Emergency Animal Disease (EAD): Members provided details on their jurisdictions’ General Surveillance Assessment Tool verification surveys and AHC agreed to use this data to draft a business plan for the National General Surveillance Program. Members agreed for the draft business plan to be circulated to industry members for comment. AHC also discussed how to integrate the work of the General Surveillance Epidemiology working group, the FMD Resourcing working group and the results of the First Response Capability self–assessments to develop a holistic approach to awareness, surveillance, response and resourcing for emergency animal disease (EAD).
Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) developments in Northern Australia and associated trading issues: The Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia provided an update on the tracing activities, progress and issues relating to the BJD incident in QLD. Members discussed a number of issues relating to the current detection and spread of BJD in northern Australia, including the impact on export certification and the implementation of the new High–Throughput Johne’s test.
Enzootic Bovine Leukosis (EBL): Members received an update on the progression to a declaration of Freedom from EBL in the national dairy herd. Once ongoing surveillance and reporting details are confirmed, finalisation of the document and a formal announcement will be made. Members congratulated those involved on a sustained effort over a significant period of time and expressed appreciation at the continued cross–jurisdictional cooperation.
Hendra Virus (HeV): Members noted the revised response policy brief for HeV has been updated to reflect the change in minimum quarantine period for dogs and horses. Members also discussed the factors impacting the uptake of the HeV vaccines for horses and received a progress report on the development of the Differentiation of Infected and Vaccinated Animals (DIVA) test for HeV.
Interim report from the equine micro–chipping working group: In September 2012 the Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC) formed a time–limited taskforce to recommend uniform national standards for the voluntary microchipping of horses. Members received an update on this report which is currently under consideration by PISC out of session.
Industry briefing for AHC23 face–to–face meeting:
New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (NZ MPI) invited representatives from New Zealand Industry to attend a briefing session with AHC on Thursday 4 April 2013. Issues that were discussed at this joint session included:
NZ MPI’s Office Audit General Report (OAG): NZ gave an overview of the OAG which identified a number of opportunities to improve and enhance biosecurity capability. An outcome of this report was the development of the MPI Preparedness Management Action Plan.
DAFF’s Foot and Mouth Disease National Action Plan (FMD NAP): DAFF gave an overview of the Australian government response to the Matthews’ Report and the development of the Foot and Mouth Disease National Action Plan (FMD NAP) to address the recommendations in the report.
Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA): DAFF provided an overview of Australia’s emergency animal disease preparedness and response arrangements, including the two pillars of this arrangement, the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) and Australia Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN).
NZ’s Government Industry Agreement (GIA): NZ gave an overview of the development of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) on biosecurity readiness and response. The GIA aims for an integrated approach to prepare for and effectively respond to biosecurity risks through application of the two main components– deed of agreement and operational agreements.