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Member Update – June 2024

20 Jun

Animal Health Australia brings together government and industry to discuss avian influenza preparedness

AHA led a government and industry roundtable on preparedness for HPAI, specifically for clade, which has been having a significant impact globally.  It should be noted that this clade is currently not in Australia.

Representatives from the Australian government, along with all states and territory governments were in attendance, as well as industry representatives from the Australian Chicken Meat Federation, Australian Duck Meat Association, Egg Farmers Australia and Stock Feed Manufacturers Council of Australia. The Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (CSIRO), Wildlife Health Australia and Australia Centre for Disease Control were also represented.

The full-day agenda included presentations from each jurisdiction and organisation on their preparedness activities, detailing how they are taking action in preparing for a possible incursion of this clade of HPAI, which has never been detected in Australia. This included considerations of national coordination, research, and development (including learnings from recent HPAI outbreaks overseas), disease surveillance in wild birds, lab preparedness, on-farm biosecurity, human health considerations and policy development to name a few.

The aim of the day was to identify the key gaps that exist in Australia’s preparedness efforts for this new strain, and how best to address them. By creating a forum for both governments and poultry industries to collaborate on these issues, we were able to identify these gaps to better inform our preparedness activities going forward.

Dr Frank Wong from the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness provides an overview of the current HPAI situation globally (image supplied by Melinda Hashimoto)

No cracking under pressure: Avian influenza impacts on the egg industry

Australian Eggs Managing Director, Rowan McMonnies has said in a statement “these avian influenza incidents will cause some disruption to egg supply as retailers reorganise their supply but purchase limits or patchy supermarket shelves do not indicate a nation-wide shortage”.

Read more via the official media statement.

The 2023 Animal Health in Australia Report is now available!

The annual Animal Health in Australia Report provides a detailed analysis of the country’s animal health landscape, highlighting key achievements, current health statuses, and significant projects undertaken throughout the year.

Key highlights include:

  • National Exercises and Emergency Preparedness: Detailed accounts of national exercises like Exercise Waterhole and Paratus aimed at testing and improving our animal health laboratory network.
  • National Animal Health Initiatives: Insights into the Animal Sector Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan 2023-2028 and the renewed Australian Animal Welfare Strategy.
  • Industry-led Projects: From the Livestock Traceability Database Uplift to the alpaca industry’s new NLIS, learn how industry initiatives are enhancing animal health and biosecurity.
  • The report also delves into the status and initiatives in aquatic animal health, including targeted surveillance programs and disease status updates.

For a comprehensive look at the state of animal health in Australia and the efforts to maintain and improve it, read the full 2023 Animal Health in Australia Report: https://animalhealthaustralia.com.au/ahia2023

The report is a collaboration between Animal Health Australia and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry with input from many stakeholders across the sector.

Exercise high steaks: A well-done success

Industry and government discuss the implications of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease on beef cattle feedlots as part of Exercise High Steaks.

The Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) and Biosecurity Queensland recently led Exercise High Steaks, an industry and government exercise, to address humane destruction of animals, disposal and decontamination in the context of a FMD outbreak.

Approximately 30 exercise participants, including feedlot managers, feedlot operators and government biosecurity specialists came together to learn about the roles of government and industry in a cost-shared emergency animal disease response. They applied their knowledge to work through destruction, disposal and decontamination scenarios for three different-sized feedlots.

Dr Ron Glanville facilitated the exercise and was ably supported by presentations from Biosecurity Queensland, ALFA and AHA.

Dr Mark Cozens, Head of Program for AUSVETPLAN commended ALFA and Biosecurity Queensland for their proactive approach to enhancing emergency animal disease preparedness and taking the lead on this important exercise. He noted that participants’ engagement and feedback were very positive.

“Both industry and government participants were highly engaged in the exercise. They worked through significant issues that may be faced by the beef cattle feedlot industry during an FMD outbreak and arrived at practical solutions, demonstrating their consideration of a range of factors in their deliberations” Dr Cozens said.

ALFA and Biosecurity Queensland will prepare a report which will bring together the exercise findings and recommendations to inform ongoing industry and government EAD preparedness.

AHA was pleased to provide support to the planning team, to present at the exercise and facilitate discussions.

Training hub wins emergency management preparedness award

The National Biosecurity Hub received well deserved recognition at the EMPA Australia 2024 Awards winning a national Emergency Management Public Affairs Award for Readiness and Resilience. presented in Canberra on 5 June 2024.

This project has demonstrated the power of partnership – seed funded by, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries QLD, Department of Primary Industries NSW and Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action VIC and spear-headed by Plant Health Australia.

The National Biosecurity Training Hub provides a centralised platform for biosecurity training to support biosecurity preparedness, response and recovery. The Hub is designed to make it easier for Australians to access a range of biosecurity training and for training providers to increase their reach.

Visit the hub today

Trust in Australia Wool goes global

WoolProducers Australia has proudly relaunched the Trust in Australian Wool campaign in partnership with AHA. This initiative aims to showcase the evolution of the Australian wool industry in producing the finest quality wool globally.

Jo Hall, CEO of WoolProducers Australia, emphasized the high quality of Australian wool, renowned for its use in luxury garments and fine apparel, and its strong demand among processing nations due to its unmatched quality. The campaign’s newly released handbook details the world-leading on-farm practices, national frameworks, quality assurance systems, and innovations that contribute to making Australian wool a natural, sustainable product recognized for its excellence.

Unveiled during a panel session at the International Wool Textile Organisation congress in Adelaide, the campaign includes insights from industry experts such as Jo Hall, Anthony Uren, Makaela Knapp, Samantha Wan, and Scott Williams. The panel highlighted the Australian wool industry’s commitment to the highest global standards in clip preparation and product specification, setting the benchmark for wool worldwide.

Trust in Australian Wool was also showcased at the prestigious SaigonTex event in Vietnam where representatives from Wool Producers Australia showcased our strong wool product to the world.

For more information, the handbook and a video presentation are available online:

Handbook: TIAW-Handbook.pdf

Video: Trust In Australian Wool 2024

Read more

Congratulations to Dr Mark Schipp on public service medal

Congratulations to former Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) Dr Mark Schipp (Australian CVO from 2011 to 2023) who was awarded a Public Service Medal  in the King’s Birthday Honours.

This was for outstanding public service in improved outcomes for animal health and biosecurity in Australia and overseas.

This medal also comes just weeks after Dr Schipp was presented the prestigious 2024 World Organisation for Animal Health Gold Medal, also in recognition of his outstanding service in the field of veterinary science and leadership as Australia’s WOAH delegate for 12 years.

What’s on at AHA

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

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

View AHA’s full calendar of events here.

Recent publications

Annual Operating Plan 2024/25

Our Annual Operating Plan is the roadmap for the year ahead and has been developed in consultation with our members, based on agreed workplans for the individual programs.


Animal Health in Australia (AHiA) Annual Report, 2023

The Animal Health in Australia (AHiA) report is an annual summary of key achievements, disease investigations, surveillance activities and updates to policies and programs in Australia’s animal health system.


Tasmanian Livestock Health Report, April 2024

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


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