On 23 May 2016, Australia signed arrangements with international trading partners to further support the control of—and manage the effects of—emergency animal disease outbreaks.
Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Mark Schipp, signed three arrangements on behalf of Australia while at the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) 84th General Session in Paris.
“International cooperation is absolutely critical in managing the spread and impact of animal disease,” Dr Schipp said.
“By working together we can help control and limit the risks to our countries. That’s what these arrangements are intended to achieve.
“One arrangement provides continued access to additional experienced personnel to assist in the event of an outbreak.
“Another streamlines requests for additional vaccines for foot-and-mouth disease in an outbreak, and the other seeks to facilitate the timely recognition of zoning decisions to minimise disruptions to safe trade.
“These arrangements show real international solidarity, transparency and leadership in working together to prepare for an animal health emergency on a global scale.”
Dr Schipp said the international arrangements complemented efforts on the home front to manage and protect Australia’s animal health.
“Australia is very lucky to have natural barriers which have helped protect our favourable animal health status,” Dr Schipp said.
“But with increased movement of goods and people across the world comes increased risk of exotic diseases reaching our shores.
“We work hard to protect our favourable animal health status through our risk-based biosecurity arrangements, and we have a range of measures in place to be prepared for any outbreaks that might occur.
“We run exercises to test our response arrangements, like livestock standstills, and we work with industry, state and territory governments and veterinarians to make sure the right arrangements are in place to respond swiftly and effectively.”