AHC Vet Communique - April 2016, edition 2016-1

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Animal Health Committee (AHC), April 2016




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Animal Health Committee 29 meeting Brisbane 28-29 April 2016

Welcome to the Animal Health Committee (AHC) newsletter, Vetcommuniqué, which provides a communication link between AHC, ind​ustry 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 Mark Schipp, the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer, is the current AHC Chair and the South Australian CVO Dr Roger Paskin the incoming chair for 2017.

The next AHC meeting will be held on 28-29 April 2016 in Brisbane.

Key items for discussion at AHC 29

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 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 communications plan for the implementation phase of the Review.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Preparedness Activities

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) remains the single biggest emergency animal disease threat to the red meat, dairy, wool and pig industries (ABARES Report, 2013). 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 which will be reported to AHC to determine the next steps in bolstering our preparedness to respond to an outbreak of FMD in Australia. These include reporting from the Vaccination Expert Advisory Group and laboratory testing of FMD samples.

EADRA and Cost-Sharing a National Livestock Standstill

A significant amount of work has been undertaken regarding cost-sharing a national livestock standstill, an issue that was identified through the Exercise Odysseus activities. AHC will consider the results of this work and decide on relevant activities to determine what items can be cost-shared under the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement.

Horse Identification and Traceability

The National Biosecurity Committee has previously discussed the adoption of national standards for the voluntary microchipping of horses through the implementation of harmonised state and territory legislation. As an NBC sectoral committee, AHC will act on these discussions by investigating the feasibility of jurisdictions requiring horses to be part of a national identification and traceability system, such as the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) or other system.

National Biosecurity and Emergency Preparedness Expert Group

AHC will consider an update on the work undertaken by the National Biosecurity Emergency Preparedness Expert Group (Expert Group) and it specialist task groups, in preparing for the response to and recovery from biosecurity incidents. AHC will consider how it can contribute to the work being undertaken by the Expert Group.

Key AHC Contacts

Dr Mark Schipp (AHC Chair), Australian CVO 02 6272 4644
Dr Wendy Townsend, Australian Capital Territory CVO 02 6205 3737
Dr Therese Wright, New South Wales A/CVO 02 6391 3351
Dr Kevin de Witte, 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 Mia Carbon, Western Australian A/CVO 08 9368 3349
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 (Observer)
Dr Rupert Woods, Wildlife Health Australia 02 9960 6333 (Observer)
Ms Joanne Nathan, Department of the Environment 02 6274 1056

Email: AHC Secretariat

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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