Vetcommunique Volume 8 Issue 4

​​​​​Publication details

Animal Health Committee (AHC), September 2008




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Vol 8, No 4, September 2008

Animal Health Committee Meeting 14, 22-24 September, 2008

Welcome to the fourth edition for 2008 of the Animal Health Committee (AHC) newsletter for animal health and product integrity associated industry bodies. The aim of Vetcommuniqué is to improve communication links between AHC and client industry and government bodies.

The next face-to-face meeting of AHC will be 22-24 September in Queenstown, New Zealand. Face-toface meetings are held twice each year, with the venue rotating between the States, Territories and New Zealand. The meetings are attended by the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of the Commonwealth, States, Territories and New Zealand with representatives from Biosecurity Australia, CSIRO, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) and Animal Health Australia (AHA) to discuss animal health issues of national importance. Industry representatives also attend for specific discussion from time to time.

Key Issues

Equine Influenza

Following on from the EI outbreak last year, AHC have planned a session to discuss the ongoing issues of:

  • Horse movements between Australia and New Zealand.
  • Implementation of outcomes from theCallinan Report of the Equine Influenza Inquiry.
  • Outcomes from the Beale Inquiry into Australia’s quarantine and bio-security systems.
  • Progress with Australia’s OIE EI Freedom dossier.
  • EI debrief recommendations for the Consultative Committee on Emergence Animal Diseases.

Foot and Mouth Disease

A recent review of current preparedness and response capacities for a foot and mouth disease (FMD) incursion identified some key vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities were particularly associated with Australia not having live FMD virus available for use in research and development.

An FMD Key Vulnerabilities Implementation Group was established at AHC13. They have since developed a costed work-plan on remedial
actions for consideration by AHC in September 2008. The group will also recommended to AHC the holding of an international FMD conference in Australia in 2010, to gather together the most up-to-date information on the virus, to assist in strengthening Australia’s ability to manage FMD risks.

Enzootic Bovine Leucosis (EBL)

AHC is to consider the outcomes of the EBL National Dairy Strategy Working Party, including their progress and work-plan. Industry and government have demonstrated commitment to the eradication of EBL from the national dairy herd.

Laboratory Network for Emergency Animal Disease Diagnosis and Response

AHC will consider reporting arrangements on specimen examination results for emergency animal diseases by the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and other Reference Laboratories. AHC will also discuss new policy being developed for testing of animals for exotic diseases whilst in post arrival quarantine.

Future AHC meetings

After the face-to-face meeting in New Zealand, AHC will meet via teleconference on 27 November 2008, and 5 February 2009. AHC15 face-toface has been proposed for 28-30 April 2009 in NSW.

Hendra Virus

AHC is to consider the recent cases of Hendra Virus in Queensland where a vet and several horses died. Issues for consideration include research priorities in further understanding the disease, managing recovered horses, and bio-security communications for the public who come into contact with horses.

Bovine Tuberculosis Export Testing

AHC is to examine a proposal on determining the disposition of tuberculosis reactors in preexport cattle, and also examine reporting arrangements back to Chief Veterinary Officers. Currently, cattle that test positive to the single intra-dermal caudal fold tuberculin test must meet with current Australian standards, namely slaughter, post-mortem and thorough examination.

Key Contacts

  • Dr Brian Radunz, Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO), NT, ph 08 8999 2130
  • Dr Hugh Millar, Chief Veterinary Officer, VIC<, ph 03 9217 4247
  • Dr Andy Carroll (AHC Chair 2008), Australian Chief Veterinary Officer, DAFF, ph 02 6272 4644
  • Dr Ron Glanville, Chief Veterinary Officer, QLD, ph 07 3239 3525
  • Dr Bruce Christie, Chief Veterinary Officer, NSW, ph 02 6391 3717
  • Dr Peter Buckman, Chief Veterinary Officer, WA, ph 08 9368 3342
  • Dr Rob Rahaley, Chief Veterinary Officer, ,SA, ph 08 8207 7970
  • Dr Rod Andrewartha, Chief Veterinary Officer, TAS, ph 03 6233 6836
  • Dr Robyn Martin, General Manager, Biosecurity Australia, ph 02 6272 5444
  • Dr Ian Denney, Manager, Veterinary Services, Animal Health Australia, ph 02 6203 3921
  • Dr Will Andrew, Chief Veterinary Officer, ACT, ph 02 6207 2357
  • Dr Martyn Jeggo, Director AAHL, CSIRO, ph 03 5227 5511
  • Dr Adrian Coghill, Secretary Animal Health Committee, DAFF, ph 02 6272 3096
  • Dr Narelle Clegg, Manager AQIS Exports and Animal Programs Division, DAFF, ph 02 6272 4523
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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