10 minutes to read

Member Update – December 2023

12 Dec

Acting CEO Dr Samantha Allan reflects with our Chair Sharon Starick on the achievements of 2023 and what’s in store for 2024. Watch the ‘End of Year Message’ video message by clicking on the link below:

Member Engagement Week March 2024 dates announced!

The March 2024 Animal Health Australia (AHA) Member Engagement Week –will run from March 18 – 21 at the Rydges Capital Hill Canberra. We have confirmed that this is sitting week, so that our members can head up to the hill for meetings whilst in town!

The schedule isn’t fully finalised but expect that Industry Forum will start Monday morning around 9 or 10am, and all other members should arrive by lunchtime.  The main part of the program will conclude Wednesday after lunch, with training to follow Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.

If you are planning to stay at Rydges, for a discounted room rate, please use the code 2403 ANIMAL when reserving your accommodation, here or contact Martin Turner, Member Engagement and Marketing Manager, AHA.

Other important dates 2024:

AHA General Meeting: 19 June 2023 (Virtual)

AHA September Member Engagement Week: Week of 23 September 2023 (Realm Hotel, Canberra, ACT)

AHA Annual General Meeting – 13 November (Virtual)

New National Biosecurity Training Hub launched

Plant Health Australia (PHA), the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Agriculture Victoria, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, and AHA, have partnered to create the National Biosecurity Training Hub – Australia’s first one-stop shop for biosecurity training.

Read more.

Cattle Australia’s Industry Forum

Cattle Australia (CA) has held an industry forum and dinner following its first Annual General Meeting, to discuss some of the most topical issues being navigated by grass-fed cattle producers in Australia.

The industry forum, which was held in Albury on November 17th, featured sessions addressing current market conditions, the re-evaluation of livestock emissions, tracking greenhouse gas emissions in real-time, soil carbon, feedbase monitoring and sustainability reporting.

CA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Adam Coffey, said the forum leveraged the opportunity presented by having industry leaders and producers from across Australia together to delve into some of the most important points of discussion for grass-fed cattle businesses. The event was presided over by new CEO Dr Chris Parker whose tenure commenced on the 15th of November, and was attended by AHA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Samantha Allen and Director Lucinda Corrigan

Read more.

L to R: CA President David Foote, AHA Acting CEO Dr Samantha Allan, Region 11 elected member Ben Hewitt. Photo credit to Beef Central.

Did you know that about the EADRA?

Dr Therese Wright, our Head of Program for the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) has revised a great resource of frequently asked questions that commonly get raised around the use and intent of the EADRA.

View the FAQ online.

How are we integrating animal health surveillance into AUSPESTCHECK®?

AHA is integrating the national animal health surveillance programs that we manage on behalf of our Members into AUSPestCheck®, through collaboration with PHA and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. AUSPestCheck® is a centralised system for plant and animal disease surveillance.

Read more.

National Sheep Health Monitoring Program Annual Report out!

This important program monitors sheep for a range of significant animal health diseases and conditions which reduce productivity in the sheep value chain or can impact market access. The annual report contains a basic analysis of data from the project, including summaries of the monitored conditions, and provides a snapshot of the health of a significant proportion of the Australian sheep flock.

Meat inspectors inspected 9,822,174 sheep within 42,756 lines from 10,247 property identity codes for 19 animal health conditions from 10 abattoirs around the country. More than 2 million animals were inspected compared to the previous financial year.

Read the report online.

MLA Updates 2023 – A great day out!    

Where can you learn how to assess if your ewes are fit to join, how to use drones for mustering cattle and how to break down a lamb carcass, in one day?  The MLA Updates Day – that’s where.  MLA Updates 2023 offered a jam-packed day of short and sharp 20 – 45-minute sessions, over 40 exhibitors and demonstrations at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre for their members and stakeholders.  The theme was “Sustainability from Paddock to Plate.”

The event kicked off with Jason Strong, CEO, sharing an overview in which he invited the mostly producer audience to take a balanced view of the current challenging operating environment.

Read more.

What’s on at AHA

Beef Week: 05 May 2024 (Rockhampton QLD)

Liaison Livestock Industry (LLI) Workshop: 07 March 2024 (Launceston TAS)
Registrations to open early 2024

CCAD Training: 20 March 2024 (ACT)

Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) Awareness for Industry: 04 June 2024 (Webinar)

Liaison Livestock Industry (LLI) Workshop: 31 July 2024 (Victoria)

Liaison Livestock Industry (LLI) Workshop: October 2024 (NSW)

Online eLearning LLI Course Development

The AHA Training team is currently producing an online eLearning course to support and complement existing resources and training services in the LLI learning space. It will become a foundation educational tool to help learners understand the arrangements, processes and systems that enable industry to support government in an EAD response.  It will also cover the skills, knowledge and attributes a peak industry body nominated representative needs to perform the LLI function. It will serve a number of functions: as a prerequisite to the face-to-face LLI workshops where the focus will be on scenario-based activities and discussions, as a refresher opportunity for representatives that are deployed into an EAD response, and as an EAD response awareness tool for our stakeholders. The course is due to be completed and released to members in early 2024.

Version 3 of the EADRA Guidance Document

Version 3 of the EADRA Guidance document has been released, endorsed OOS by signatories – Cost Shared Compensation under the EADRA explains the terms “Compensation” and “Cost Sharing” for a cost shared response to an EAD under the EADRA, including the application of ‘top-up’ payments. It should be read in conjunction with the EADRA.

Access it here.

Recent publications

October 2023 Tasmanian Livestock Health Report

The Tasmanian Livestock Health Report summarises information on livestock diseases and conditions observed by rural service providers across Tasmania


Around the traps

  • Applications are now open for small grants of up to $50,000 per year and up to $150,000 for three years for biosecurity research and development in relation to the cattle industry. Read more.
  • New biosecurity laws being debated in Victorian parliament could see fines double for animal activists found trespassing on farms, in a move described as “ag-gag by stealth” by critics. Read more.
  • A new Biosecurity Strategy for Victoria was developed to turn the vision from Victoria’s Biosecurity Statement into clear priorities. Read more.
  • The NSW Government is working with stakeholders and landholders to deliver a 32 km extension to the current NSW Border Wild Dog Fence. Read more.
  • A new mobile application, MyPestGuide® Trees, is now available to industry, government, and citizen scientists. Read more.