The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment works closely with a network of more than 100 stakeholders to improve animal and human health by facilitating the availability of high-quality laboratory testing provided through veterinary diagnostic laboratories.
Australian standard diagnostic procedures
The department maintains, on behalf of its animal health stakeholders, a comprehensive set of technical procedures approved for use in animal laboratories across Australia.
- Australian and New Zealand standard diagnostic procedures (ANZSDPs)—for terrestrial and aquatic animals
- Australian standard diagnostic tests (ASDTs)—some of which are now superseded by relevant ANZSDPs)
- Other procedures—NAD techniques, Johne’s disease, overseas transfers.
Rationale for ANZSDPs
The Laboratory preparedness manual of the Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN) stipulates that all laboratory veterinarians ‘should maintain a high level of proficiency in recognising the clinical and pathological signs of the major EADs, and relevant biosecurity procedures’. To do this, the manual advises that laboratories approved to conduct emergency animal disease (EAD) diagnosis should:
- have relevant standard operating procedures and quality assurance programmes
- follow approved diagnostic procedures for Australian veterinary laboratories
- be accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)
- comply with the requirements of the most recent version of Australian standard (AS) ISO/IEC 17025 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.
Where the department and its stakeholders determine the need for a national standard operating procedure for a specific infectious animal disease, an ANZSDP is only required if:
- an adequate chapter for Australian needs does not exist in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
- Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (Aquatic manual)
- Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals (Terrestrial manual)
- laboratory testing is required for regulatory purposes or industry-driven management of the disease.