International arrangements for emergency animal disease outbreaks

​The Australian Government is a signatory to arrangements that will provide support from other participating countries during an emergency animal disease outbreak. It is also a signatory to arrangements to make it easier to maintain the safe and fair trade of animals and animal products between participating countries in the event of animal disease outbreaks.

These arrangements are effective tools to quickly and effectively provide support during the potentially complex and global-scale challenges posed by animal disease outbreaks. They complement each country’s existing preparedness activities, and aim to minimise global impacts to mutual benefit.

The three arrangements signed on 23 May 2015 during the World Organisation for Animal Health’s 84th General Session relate to:

International Animal Health Emergency Reserve

Signed by: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States of America

This formal arrangement provides participating countries access to additional human resources in the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak. Deploying additional personnel during an outbreak can assist with a more rapid response that will allow for faster disease control, and will increase the chance of the disease being eradicated. It will also provide deployed personnel with a valuable experience in outbreak management and response that they can take back to their home countries.

The original arrangement, signed in May 2004, has been updated to reflect agreed policies, procedures and templates. This will expedite resource-sharing and allow for more efficient use of the arrangement by participating countries.

Requesting additional foot-and-mouth disease vaccines

Signed by: Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, United States of America

This arrangement supports access to additional foot and mouth disease (FMD) vaccines in the event of a FMD outbreak in participating countries. While all five countries invest in their respective FMD vaccine banks, this non-binding arrangement provides guidance for when a country requests additional vaccines from the other participating countries.

This arrangement initially includes the Australian, New Zealand and North American vaccine banks. However, it could be expanded in future to include other vaccine banks should there be interest.

Australia has a national FMD vaccination policy that will be considered in the event of an FMD incursion.

Recognising zoning for foreign animal disease outbreaks

Signed by: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America

This arrangement is intended to manage biosecurity risks while minimising trade disruptions in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak in a participating country. Through understanding and accepting each other’s processes for managing outbreaks, this arrangement aims to facilitate the early resumption of trade from zones which remain disease-free. It will also support continuing trade from disease-affected zones where biosecurity risks can be effectively managed through import conditions, such as product treatments.

This in-principle arrangement provides a framework which could be applied to a number of different foreign animal diseases in the future. It will be underpinned by evaluations and other work to provide confidence in each participating country’s capabilities and systems as part of a risk-based approach.

Information about how we respond to outbreaks in Australia can be found on the national Outbreak website.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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