AHC Vet Communique - November 2015, edition 2015-3

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Animal Health Committee (AHC), November 2015




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​​​​Animal Health Committee 28 meeting Sydney 11-12 November 2015.

Welcome to the Animal Health Committee (AHC) newsletter, Vetcommuniqué, which provides a communication link between AHC, industry organisations and other stakeholders.

AHC meetings are attended by the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), state and territory CVOs, representatives from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), Australian Government Department of Environment, Animal Health Australia (AHA), Wildlife Health Australia (WHA) and a representative of the New Zealand CVO.

A joint AHC-industry session is attended by AHA Industry Forum executives representing the national industry associations and industry representatives from the host jurisdiction.

Dr Michelle Rodan, the Western Australian Chief Veterinary Officer, is the current AHC Chair and the Australian CVO Dr Mark Schipp, the incoming chair for 2016.

The next AHC meeting will be held on 11-12 November 2015 in Sydney.

Key items for discussion at AHC28

National Animal Health Surveillance and Diagnostics Business Plan

Under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB), the animal health sector is required to produce a National Animal Health Surveillance and Diagnostic Strategy and Business (work) plan. A draft Strategy document was endorsed by AHC and submitted to NBC in February 2015. Following this, AHC members and their surveillance managers held a one day workshop in April 2015 to develop a national animal health surveillance and diagnostics business plan. A joint Industry/Government workshop was held in August 2015 to discuss surveillance priorities and actions, governance of a national business plan and to identify lead agencies to take responsibility for each of the proposed activities. AHC will meet to agree on steps to progress the development of a National Animal Health Surveillance and Diagnostics Business Plan.

Update on the Review into the National Bovine Johne’s Disease Management Plan

AHA was requested by industry and government stakeholders to undertake a review of the National Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) Management Plan. AHC members have been actively involved in the review process and are generally supportive of less regulation. AHA will provide an update to AHC on the outcomes of the review, including the Framework paper, for further discussion.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Preparedness Activities

FMD remains the single biggest emergency animal disease threat to the red meat, dairy, wool and pig industries (ABARES Report, 20131). The key issues for Australia are to protect against the introduction of FMD and to limit the impact of an FMD

outbreak to enable a quick resumption of trade. A number of initiatives relating to FMD preparedness have been undertaken in 2015 and these will be reported to AHC to determine the next steps in bolstering our preparedness to respond to an outbreak of FMD in Australia.

Avian Influenza Risk Mitigation

AHC will be provided with an update on an avian influenza (AI) industry-stakeholder workshop in held in May 2015 and progress with the development of a new project being undertaken by a number of universities, government agencies and industry to progress AI risk mitigation. This will inform the next phase of the risk mitigation work supported by AHC.

Established Pests and Diseases of National Significance List

A National Framework for the Management of Established Pests and Diseases of National Significance (the Framework) has been developed under the IGAB. The National Biosecurity Committee has endorsed the framework for the purposes of consultation with industry and community groups. AHC will discuss whether the National List of Notifiable Animal Diseases will constitute the primary mechanism for listing Established Animal Pests and Diseases of National Significance in the context of the IGAB framework.

Review of National List of Notifiable Animal Diseases

Australia’s list of nationally notifiable animal diseases is aligned with the diseases listed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The list is reviewed every two years and is due for revision in 2015. Some endemic diseases are included for surveillance purposes to detect unusual incidents involving mortality or sickness of animals. Diseases of public health significance are also included.

1ABARES Report 11 October 2013

Key AHC Contacts

Dr Michelle Rodan (AHC Chair 2015), Western Australian CVO 08 9368 3342
Dr Mark Schipp, Australian CVO 02 6272 4644
Dr Wendy Townsend, Australian Capital Territory CVO 02 6205 3737
Dr Ian Roth, New South Wales CVO 02 6391 3577
Dr Malcolm Anderson, Northern Territory CVO 08 8999 2130
Dr Allison Crook, Queensland CVO 07 3087 8014
Dr Roger Paskin, South Australian CVO 08 8207 7970
Dr Rod Andrewartha, Tasmanian CVO 03 6165 3261
Dr Charles Milne, Victorian CVO 03 9217 4114
Dr Kurt Zuelke, Australian Animal Health Laboratory 03 5227 5511
Dr Robyn Martin, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources 02 6272 5364
Dr Peter Dagg, Animal Health Australia 02 6203 3907
Dr Rupert Woods, Wildlife Health Australia 02 9960 6333
Ms Katrina Daniels, Department of the Environment 02 6274 1056

AHC Secretariat:
Email: AHC
GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601

Further information on AHC can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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