Office of the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO)

​​Who we are

The Office of the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO) is a team of scientists and policy makers who support the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (ACVO), Dr Mark Schipp, in delivery of his roles and responsibilities.

The ACVO is the primary representative of, and advisor to, the Australian Government on all matters relating to the maintenance and improvement of Australia’s animal health status and the systems that support it. The ACVO also works to address major animal health issues of national interest, such as the threat of antimicrobial resistance, and enhancing trade and market access for animals and animal products.

The OCVO, in collaboration with the broader department and our external stakeholders, works to mitigate the risks and potential impacts of exotic animal diseases and enhance the protection of Australia’s animal health environment.

What we do

The overarching objective of the ACVO is to mitigate threats to the Australian economy, and the productivity of Australia’s animal-dependent industries, by supporting and enhancing trade and market access for animals and animal products, and representing the Australian Government on animal health issues of national interest.

The ACVO Review was conducted from Nov 2016 – June 2017. A robust and broad stakeholder engagement and consultation process involving over three hundred stakeholders from governments and the private sector was undertaken to ensure the review captured rigorous data on the issues important to Australia’s animal health and biosecurity system and the role of the ACVO, now and into the future. An outcome of this review was the need to re-articulate and communicate the role of the ACVO along with a revision of organisational arrangements to better support delivery of the role’s primary responsibilities. The re-articulated role of the ACVO is available below.

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As a result of the ACVO review three priorities were determined that aim to deliver animal health outcomes that support the department’s purpose of growing the value of agricultural trade and reducing risk to the agricultural sector. These priorities are:

  1. providing strategic analysis of, influencing, and championing Australia’s collective animal health systems and services
  2. providing international representation of Australia’s animal health status and systems and influencing international policy and standards
  3. delivering outcomes on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

The OCVO Business Plan has been developed to support the delivery of these priorities and is available below.

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Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer Business Plan DOCX Word Icon169 KB

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About Dr Mark Schipp

In 2011 Dr  Schipp was appointed Chief Veterinary Officer of Australia.

He was also appointed as Australia’s Delegate at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) where he is also the  elected President of the OIE World Assembly. Dr Schipp explains the role of the OIE President and his expectations for his three year term​.

Dr Schipp leads Australia’s national responses to emergency animal disease incursions. He works to strengthen the veterinary services of countries in our region so they are able to detect and respond to emerging infectious diseases of concern to both human and animal health. He has been active in leading Australian agriculture’s response to the global threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Dr Schipp studied both Biology and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at Murdoch University, graduating in 1989. Since then he has been working to protect Australia from exotic disease incursions and seeking opportunities to expand market access for our livestock and animal products.

After graduation Dr Schipp joined the Western Australia Department of Agriculture as a District Veterinary Officer where he advised farmers on livestock health and production, delivered field days, and boarded livestock vessels at sea to ensure they were clean before loading for live export.

He then worked in export abattoirs in Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania ensuring livestock presented for slaughter were healthy and the livestock products were suitable for export. Eventually he moved to Canberra to contribute to Australia’s export meat program at a national level.

Dr Schipp was posted overseas for six years—in Seoul, South Korea and then in Beijing, China where he opened the Agriculture Counsellor post at the Australian Embassy, Beijing and negotiated new market access for Australian agricultural products

Dr Mark Schipp explains his role

Download the video as an MP4 MP4 [5.0 MB]

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Transcript of Schipp's video

The Chief Veterinary Officer of Australia represents Australia nationally and internationally on veterinary issues, animal health, animal biosecurity, so I’m the delegate for Australia to the World Organisation for Animal Health and I’m also fortunate enough to sit on the Council of the World Organisation so I represent our region as well as our country.

Nationally I represent the department and the national position on animal health and veterinary issues. In the event of an emergency disease outbreak I chair the consultative committee on emergency animal diseases which brings together all of the state positions and the national position. We try and find a common position and bring that forward for decision and implementation.

I deal with the universities, the veterinary deans, to talk about the needs for veterinary education in the country. I deal with Foreign Affairs and Trade on what are the aid needs in our region, in terms of veterinary science or public health and capacity building in our region. So it’s quite a varied role and one that draws on a range of skills, but I’m very fortunate to have a large group of experts that sit around me and support me.

Consider a career as an Australian Government Veterinarian

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is a significant employer of veterinarians in Australia. If you are interested in an exciting, challenging and rewarding career, we encourage you to consider the opportunities that the department can offer.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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