vetcommunique April 2011

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Animal Health Committee (AHC), April 2011




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​​Animal Health Committee 19 Face-to-Face Meeting -  22 - 24 March 2011

Welcome to the Animal Health Committee (AHC) newsletter for animal industry bodies. The aim of Vetcommuniqué is to provide a communication link between AHC and industry bodies.

AHC meetings are attended by the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of the Commonwealth, States and Territories, the New Zealand CVO and representatives from Animal Health Australia (AHA), Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), Biosecurity Australia (BA) and Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. National industry association representatives and industry representatives from the host jurisdiction also attend an AHC – industry forum, held in association with AHC meetings.

Dr Andrew Cameron is the Victorian Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer and AHC Chair for 2011. AHC next meets on 5 July 2011 in Melbourne, VIC.

Further information on Animal Health Committee.

Key outcomes from AHC19 Face-to-Face Meeting

Industry involvement at AHC19 face-to-face meeting

The joint session with industry at AHC 19 was attended by Animal Health Australia Industry Forum representatives from Australian Dairy Farmers Limited, Dairy Australia Ltd., Cattle Council Australia, and Australian Egg Corporation Limited, and by representatives from NSW Farmers, the NSW Minister’s Sheep and Goats NLIS Advisory Group, Livestock Health and Pest Authorities NSW, Sheep NLIS Committee NSW, and the Feed Ingredients and Additives Association of Australia. 

Issues discussed included:

  • Animal disease surveillance
  • Arbovirus-Surveillance Review
  • FMD Response Policy Review
  • FMD and Milk
  • Feed Ingredients Code of Practice
  • National Cattle Health Statements

Animal Health Systems

AHC considered a number of animal health management strategies for several diseases, including Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) and Rabies Preparedness.


AHC noted progress made by the Bovine Johne’s Disease Technical Advisory Group (BJD TAG). The BJD TAG, an AHC working group, has developed a ‘Proposed Framework for the Future Management of Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) in Australia 2012 to 2020’, which was endorsed by AHC  and the NBJDSC in February 2011. BJD TAG is currently developing the operational details of this policy framework, which is likely to be available for industry comment and endorsement by May 2011. A new management plan for BJD is being developed by BJD TAG prior to the start of 2012. The current National BJD Strategic Plan is scheduled to end on 31 December 2011 and the National BJD Steering Committee (NBJDSC) has developed guidelines for the future management of BJD, and requested AHC to develop standards and operational details that are consistent with these guidelines. This policy framework continues to support the major objectives of the National Bovine Johne’s Disease Program, while recognising the differing risk profiles for BJD across jurisdictions and industry sectors.

National Animal Disease General Surveillance

AHC held a plenary session to further consider approaches to ensure a nationally coordinated general surveillance system. This session will include consideration of several issues, including, but not limited to:

General Surveillance Epidemiology Working Group

This Working Group gave a presentation of their mapping process to AHC based on Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). AHC noted the advantages of the WG’s approach to the task in that it is structured, transparent, data-driven and provides visual outputs, thus providing a rational basis for targeting surveillance resources. The WG is also developing a second model to assess the effectiveness of surveillance options, which they hope to demonstrate at AHC21 in October, 2011. This work will eventually form part of the Framework for a National General Surveillance Plan.

Emergency Animal Disease National Information Needs Working Group

AHC endorsed the ‘Information/data requirements’ reports produced by the working group and noted the group had now completed its terms of reference and will be disbanded. Due to the issues identified as needing further consideration by AHC, it was agreed to establish a National Animal Health Information Implementation Group. This working group will assist EAD management to develop reporting templates to capture the nationally agreed information.

Surveillance in Northern Australia Symposium

AHC has agreed to host a symposium on surveillance in Northern Australia, in conjunction with AHC 21, scheduled for October 2011. This symposium will further consider surveillance activities being undertaken by Commonwealth and State/Territory agencies, CSIRO, Universities, and local communities to identify opportunities for closer collaboration in northern Australian surveillance activities.

Rabies Preparedness

AHC endorsed the Terms of Reference for a Working Group established to develop a supplementary guidance document, to address aspects such as the human or technical resources or cultural and industry support, to facilitate timely implementation of strategies within AUSVETPLAN.

World Veterinary Year

2011 has been proposed as World Veterinary Year to mark the 250th anniversary of veterinary education, and the World Veterinary Year opening ceremony was held on 24 January 2011 in Versailles, France. As part of the Australian celebrations an Achievements in Veterinary Medicine and Education Symposium will be held in Melbourne on Monday 4 July 2011.

Key Contacts

  • Dr Andrew Cameron (AHC Chair), Victorian Deputy CVO, 03 9217 4237
  • Dr Andy Carroll, Australian CVO, 02 6272 4644
  • Dr Brian Radunz, Northern Territory CVO, 08 8999 2130
  • Dr Ian Roth, New South Wales CVO, 02 6391 3577
  • Dr Rob Rahaley, South Australian CVO, 08 8207 7970
  • Dr Rick Symons, Queensland CVO, 07 3239 3242
  • Dr Mary Lou Conway, Tasmanian Acting CVO, 03 6233 6330
  • Dr Peter Morcombe, Western Australian Acting CVO, 08 9368 3379
  • Dr Will Andrew, Australian Capital Territory CVO, 02 6207 2357
  • Dr Andrew Cupit, Biosecurity Australia, 02 6272 5738
  • Ms Lee Cale,  Australian Quarantine and Export Operations (BSG), 02 6272 5162
  • Prof. Martyn Jeggo, Australian Animal Health Laboratories, 03 5227 5511
  • Dr Eva-Maria Bernoth, Animal Health Australia, 02 6203 3944
  • Ms Joanne Nathan, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities 02 6275 9252
Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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