AHC vetcommunique March 2011 Pre-AHC 19 - edition 2011/1

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Animal Health Committee (AHC), March 2011




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​​Pre-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.

AHC meets on 22-24 March 2011 in Sydney, NSW. Dr Andrew Cameron is the Victorian Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer and AHC Chair for 2011.

Further information on AHC can be found on the DAFF website.

Issues for discussion at AHC19 Face-to-Face Meeting

Industry involvement at AHC19 face-to-face meeting

AHC 19 is conducting a joint session with industry on Wednesday 23 March 2011. Representatives from national and state industry bodies have been invited to attend AHC from the Animal Health Australia Industry Forum and NSW industry.

Issues that will be discussed at this joint session include export certification, surveillance, FMD policy, development of a National Cattle Health Statement, the Feed Ingredients Code of Practice, responses to emergency aquatic disease incidents (AVG and POMS) and the National Zoo Biosecurity Manual.

Animal Health Systems

AHC will be considering animal health management strategies for several diseases, including Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) and Enzootic Bovine Leukosis (EBL).


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. The Bovine Johne’s Disease Technical Advisory Group (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. 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. 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.


AHC will be considering several activities undertaken by the EBL Technical Working Group (TWG), including reviewing the National Dairy EBL Eradication Program Standard Definitions and Rules for feasibility and compliance with new OIE guidelines (which were amended in May 2010) and considering recommendations for the effective ongoing verification of EBL freedom beyond 2012.

National Animal Disease General Surveillance

AHC will hold 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 is evaluating the contribution of all general surveillance activities to the detection of significant diseases, with the aim to provide a framework that assists in determining the level of surveillance that should be implemented in each livestock region.

Emergency Animal Disease National Information Needs Working Group: This Working Group is considering the data needed to address the information requirements for EAD management at the national, jurisdictional and inter-jurisdictional level.

Surveillance in Northern Australia Symposium: AHC has agreed to host a symposium on surveillance in Northern Australia, in conjunction with AHC 20, scheduled for October 2010. 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 will consider 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.
AHC noted that a revised rabies AUSVETPLAN is being finalised which provides strategic and policy directions for dealing with a rabies incursion if it were to occur.

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. AHC is considering activities that can be undertaken in Australia to commemorate World Veterinary Year.

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 Robyn Martin, Biosecurity Australia, 02 6272 5444
Ms Lee Cale,  Aust. Quarantine and Inspection Service, 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

Contact us

Email AHC

Address: GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2601

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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