Australian Government Accredited Veterinarians (AAVs)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Under Australia's Export Control Act 1982, an Approved Export Program (AEP) for livestock export must only be carried out by an Australian government accredited veterinarian (AAV). A veterinarian for this purpose is defined under section 4A.01 of the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004 as a ​person who is registered under the law of a state or territory as a veterinarian, veterinary practitioner or veterinary surgeon.

In order to apply for accreditation as an AAV, a veterinarian must:

  • be registered by a state/territory veterinary surgeons board in the state in which he/she is intending to conduct export work
  • have successfully completed the initial Animal Health Australia Accreditation Program for Australian Veterinarians (APAV)
  • have successfully completed the Animal Health Australia online AAVet course (this is separate to the APAV program).

Note: To be accredited to undertake shipboard work, the veterinarian must also be an Australian citizen.

The steps below outline the process involved in becoming and maintaining veterinary accreditation:

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1. Complete the Initial Accreditation Training Program of the Accreditation Program for Australian Veterinarians (APAV)

APAV is administered by Animal Health Australia and is the national program designed to integrate private veterinary practitioners into the national animal health system to support the international standing of Australia's animal health service capability.

The program aims to have an internationally recognised process for accrediting non-government veterinarians for involvement in government and industry animal disease programs.

To gain further information about the program, or to enrol in the online training program, visit the Animal Health Australia website.

2. Complete the AAVet Course

After you have successfully completed the APAV, you are eligible to complete the AAVet course.

The AAVet program is an online training course for veterinarians who wish to be accredited to undertake Approved Export Programs for livestock export.

The AAVet course is administered by Animal Health Australia. To enrol in the AAVet course, visit the Animal Health Australia website.

The AAVet course has been developed by the Department of Agriculture in conjunction with Animal Health Australia. It aims to inform veterinarians involved in the export of livestock of their legislative responsibilities as an AAV. It is designed to complement the Accreditation Program for Australian Veterinarians. It also provides relevant background information about the livestock export process.

The course can be undertaken at your own pace with assessment by on-line modules. Altogether it should take approximately six hours to complete, however, times will vary depending on your background and experience within the industry.

When you successfully complete the course you must pay a $250 course fee to Animal Health Australia and then apply to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for accreditation as an AAV using the application form below.

3. Forward to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources an Application for Accreditation of Veterinarians for Live-stock Export form

Complete and return the ‘Application for Accreditation of Veterinarians for Livestock Export' to the Live Animal Export Branch​ national office.

The application form must be accompanied by:

  • Proof of registration as a veterinarian in each State or Territory for which you wish to be accredited in the form of a certified copy of an official document of the relevant veterinary practitioners registration board(s).
  • AAVet course completion certificate
  • Evidence of payment for AAVet course.

If you are applying to undertake ship-board services, your application must include the signed citizenship declaration found in Section E of the application form. 

Accreditation of a veterinarian is for one year from the date of the notice of accreditation, unless the accreditation is withdrawn earlier at the request of the veterinarian or revoked by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. If you need to vary your accreditation, for example add additional states or territories, you must apply using the Application for Accreditation of Veterinarians for Livestock Export to the Live Animal Exports Branch national office.

4. Fees Applied for Department of Agriculture and Water Resources accreditation of an AAV

There is an application charge which the applicant must pay at the time of submitting the application. The application charge may be paid by credit card.

Non-payment of any invoiced charges may result in withdrawal of services being provided to clients.

For full details of the Live Animal Export charges, see the department’s charging guidelines​.

5. Veterinary work required to be undertaken by an AAV

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​ issues Approved Export Programs (AEPs) to exporters preparing livestock consignments for export that contain tasks which must be completed by an AAV. The tasks included in an AEP could involve preparation of animals before export or during an export voyage.

An AEP generally includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • treatment and testing procedures that must be completed by an AAV after the livestock enter pre-export isolation or quarantine
  • treatment and testing specified by the importing country to be done by an AAV
  • inspections of livestock to evaluate th​em for signs of disease and fitness to travel.

All veterinarians working with livestock intended for export should receive a copy of the AEP from the exporter contracting them to undertake the work before commencing any treatments or procedures.

If the AAV is required to travel with the export consignment, it is their responsibility to complete both the daily voyage reports and end of voyage reports. The reports may be emailed to the Live Animal Exports Branch​. The end of voyage report must be received within five working days of the end of the voyage.

According to Section 4A.14 of the Export Control (Animals) Orders 2004, all AAVs are required to keep records in relation to activities undertaken as part of an AEP.

​6. Auditing​

Animal Health Australia maintains a database of APAV accredited veterinarians' details to facilitate engagement of accredited veterinarians by governments or industries with responsibility for APAV operational programs. The APAV requires these agencies to conduct audits if the APAV veterinarians are employed in their programs.

The department may audit AAVs to evaluate compliance with the Export Control Act 1982, and subordinate legislation. Time based fees will be applied to any audits that are undertaken.

Legislation is available to download from the Federal Register of Legislation website.

​Contacting an AAV

To contact an AAV for export purposes please email the department at Livestock Export.

All licenced livestock exporters can access a list of AAVs and their contact details in the members’ only area of the LiveCorp website.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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