12–14 minutes to read

Member Update – April 2024

16 Apr

NAMP Zone Change

The National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP) monitors the distribution of transmission and occurrence of bluetongue virus (BTV), Akabane virus and Bovine ephemeral fever virus and their insect vectors. This is done by testing cattle in sentinel and serosurveillance herds and insect trapping.

The publicly available Bluetongue Virus Zone Map is based on bluetongue virus monitoring data. It has two zones: the BTV transmission zone and the BTV transmission-free zone. A buffer area is part of the BTV transmission zone.

You can request that Animal Health Australia notifies you immediately after changes have been made to the Bluetongue Virus Zone Map by subscribing on the Bluetongue Virus Zone Map web page.

On 17 April 2024 there was an expansion of the BTV transmission zone into the south coast and southern tablelands regions of NSW. This is not the first time that the BTV transmission zone has extended into these regions.

NAMP Technical Committee shares its expertise

NAMP does not monitor or report clinical disease, however, the NAMP Technical Committee may provide scientific advice on an ad hoc basis to the Chief Veterinary Officer of a state or territory if clinical cases occur.

On 12 April, the NAMP Technical Committee met to provide scientific advice to the NSW Chief Veterinary Officer about clinical cases of bluetongue in sheep that have occurred in the Northern Tablelands, Hunter region, and Southern Tablelands of NSW this season.

All of these affected flocks are within the BTV transmission zone.

The occurrence of clinical cases of bluetongue in NSW sheep does not impact on the operation of or the integrity of the NAMP, nor does it have any influence on zone changes – these are based on the testing of cattle in sentinel and serosurveillance herds for evidence viral transmission in cattle.

There have been no cases of clinical bluetongue disease in cattle.

New AUSVETPLAN manual developed

A brand new AUSVETPLAN Resource Document: African swine fever response operational guidelines for pig abattoirs has been added to the AUSVETPLAN suite. Developed through expert collaboration, this document outlines biosecurity control measures to support government authorities in resolving abattoirs classified as infected or as a dangerous contact processing facility during an ASF response. Furthermore, it identifies the biosecurity controls required to establish and operate as an approved processing facility.

The pork industry is commended for developing this important preparedness document and AHA encourages all members to consider how they too can enhance their emergency animal disease preparedness.

Download the manual.

FMD AUSVETPLAN manual fully endorsed

We are pleased to announce that the AUSVETPLAN Response strategy: Foot-and-mouth disease has now been fully endorsed, including the section on management of livestock in transit when a national livestock standstill is declared.

Version 5.3 is now available via our website, and we’d like to thank all those involved in its development, production and endorsement.

Download the manual.

Version 24 of the EADRA

The most recent annual updates to the Emergency Animal Disease Response agreement (EADRA) have been completed after Animal Health Australia received all authorised signed copies of the Approval of the Variation to Provisions notices issued to all organisations who are signatories to the EADRA on 5 December 2023.

The updated copy of the EADRA, which is the twenty-fourth version and dated 5 December 2023 has been uploaded on the AHA website.

Changes in the new version include minor wording changes e.g. replace ‘to’ with ‘from’ to enhance the clarity of the text, removal of an outdated definition, corrections of references to AUSVETPLAN documents, removal of reference outdated modes of communication, removal of personal names and emails throughout Schedule 2, updates to organisational details and addresses,  amendments to the headings in the Schedules to improve indexing of the Deed, corrections to typographical and grammatical corrections, changes to ensure consistent use of abbreviations throughout the deed and consequential updates to references in clauses to the updated headings in the schedules.

Download the EADRA.

Fourth EADRA five-year review complete

The report of the fourth EADRA five-year review was presented to all Parties at the March 2024 EADRA workshop. Meeting participants unanimously endorsed the final report and commented that the review was a great success with strong consultation and engagement from Parties. AHA is now finalising a three-year work plan to implement the outstanding recommendations of the review. This will include convening a working group to provide advice on how to improve categorisation and recategorisation under the Deed.

Latest advice on the avian influenza global outbreaks

Australia is currently free of high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI). However, we know our members are closely monitoring HPAI outbreaks overseas, caused by a specific strain of H5 avian influenza virus called

Since 2020, there have been outbreaks of this strain in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America, and South America. The closest known detection of HPAI H5 was an outbreak in South Kalimantan, Indonesia, in March 2022. There have been further cases of HPAI reported in Indonesia, but the strain involved has not been reported.

Australia is currently the only continent that has never detected the HPAI H5

In February 2024, H5 HPAI was detected on the Antarctic continent for the first time. It is yet to be confirmed whether it is the strain.

Outbreaks overseas have led to extensive losses of poultry, illness and death of wild birds and some mammals, particularly marine mammals, and we understand this is receiving media attention.

A small number of human infections have been reported globally. Most of these people had close contact with infected birds and contaminated environments. Current strains of avian influenza do not appear to transmit easily between humans.

As always it is advised that poultry producers be prepared and have strict biosecurity protocols in place.

Industry-specific resources are available via our Avian Influenza webpage and the Australian Eggs website. Biosecurity planning resources for specific livestock can be found via Livestock – Farm Biosecurity.

Tasmanian LLI workshop a great success

The Tasmanian Liaison-Livestock Industry (LLI) workshop ran in early March and was a great success. Initial feedback shows that over 91% of participants agreed the training met their needs, and we have received comments complimenting the organisation of the workshop, the value of the presenters, and the knowledge they gained from this workshop. We look forward to planning the next LLI workshop scheduled for Victoria in July.

Find out more about the importance of the LLI role.

Parliamentary Friends of Biosecurity

A few weeks ago, the Parliamentary Friends of Biosecurity held its second event since its launch in 2023. The event MC was the Decade of Biosecurity Ambassador, Costa Georgiadis, and the evening focused on the profound impacts that the varroa mite incursion has had on the honeybee and related horticultural industries. There were engaging discussions and strong attendance from federal parliamentarians, government staff and industry leaders.

Read more.

Keynotes announced for the 3rd Australian Biosecurity Symposium

We are excited to let you know that all three keynotes have been announced for the 3rd Australian Biosecurity Symposium, Adam Ferrier, Dr Chadden Hunter and Dr Claire Madden.

Find out more and register today – www.biosym.com.au

What’s on at AHA


Beef Week – AHA Exhibition Booth: 5 -10 May 2024 (Rockhampton QLD)


3rd Australian Biosecurity Symposium: 27-29 August 2024 (Gold Coast QLD)


Member Engagement Week: 23-26 September (Canberra ACT)

Recent publications


Tasmanian Livestock Health Report, February 2024

The Tasmanian Livestock Health Report summarises information on livestock diseases and

conditions observed by rural service providers across Tasmania.



National Arbovirus Monitoring Program Report, 2022-2023

The National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP) Report provides information on the monitoring of  the distribution of economically important arboviruses (insect-borne viruses) of ruminant livestock and associated insect vectors in Australia.


Around the traps

  • We are delighted to hear that Dr Debbie Eagles has been appointed as Director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP). We look forward to continuing to work with Dr Eagles on critical animal health issues relevant to our members. Read more.
  • We are pleased to hear that Michael Crowley has been appointed as the Managing Director of Meat and Livestock Australia. Michael comes back to MLA after taking up the position of CEO of Herefords Australia in November 2022. Read more.
  • Join CSIRO on May 22nd and 23rd for an event dedicated to Advancing Biosecurity through Innovation in Veterinary Vaccines! Engage with presentations and Q&A sessions to expand collaborative networks in animal health and biosecurity. Register now.
  • Great episode on Agriculture Victoria’s podcast series on all things biosecurity – chatting with Erica and Richard Smith on what biosecurity means to them. Listen now.
  • Discover CSIRO’s new initiative, Catalysing Australia’s Biosecurity (CAB), a $55 million+ investment to revolutionize Australia’s biosecurity through innovation and collaboration. Dive into how this initiative sets a new standard in protecting our agriculture, environment, and community. Read the full story on CSIRO’s website.