The basis for EAD response in Australia are set out in Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) and Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN).
Maintaining Australia’s biosecurity status requires a variety of interconnected components. Click on each circle to see a description of the various components involved in EAD responses. This content is also covered in greater detail by the Animal Health Australia (AHA) Emergency Animal Disease Foundation online course.
Each of the states and territories has their own legislation regarding the control and eradication of animal diseases within their borders, including movement controls and compensation payments. Individual states and territories are responsible for implementing responses to EAD incursions within their boundaries. Technical aspects of the response are determined by the state or territory Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) in consultation with the Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Diseases (CCEAD) and guided by disease strategies within AUSVETPLAN. The state or territory CVO writes the Emergency Animal Disease Response Plan, specific to the state or territory’s EAD outbreak, which is sent to the CCEAD for approval.
If an EAD occurs in more than one state or territory, the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment takes the lead in coordinating the national response to the outbreak.
Animal Health Australia (AHA)
Animal Health Australia (AHA) is a not-for-profit company that facilitates partnerships between government and industry. They are responsible for brokering arrangements and collaborations that improve the animal health policy and biosecurity in Australia. AHA coordinates and manages more than 60 national projects on behalf of its Members that include the Australian Government, state and territory governments and the peak national councils of Australia’s livestock industries and service providers. AHA is the keeper and steward of EADRA and AUSVETPLAN.
Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA)
EADRA is a unique contractual arrangement between Australia’s governments and industry groups to collectively reduce the risk of EAD incursions, manage a response and provide adequate resourcing if an outbreak occurs. EADRA’s purpose is to facilitate rapid responses to, and the effective control and eradication or containment of an EAD incident while minimising uncertainty over management and funding arrangements.
Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN)
AUSVETPLAN is the national framework that outlines national emergency preparedness, response and control strategies for the management and wherever possible, eradication of exotic EAD incursions and outbreaks of certain emerging or endemic animal diseases. AUSVETPLAN consists of a series of manuals and supporting documents that set out the various roles, responsibilities and policy guidelines for agencies and organisations involved in an EAD response. It also contains manuals that are specific to management of particular EADs.
Industries have responsibilities to prevent the entry and spread of EADs by having biosecurity plans in place, reporting any suspected EAD, and contributing to the control of EADs if they occur, including having trained personnel for EAD responses.
Industry representatives are involved at all levels of a response (particularly when cost sharing is invoked under EADRA) and contribute to policy development, decision making about mounting and managing an EAD response, providing specialist industry knowledge, communications between industry and animal health authorities and operational activities.
The Australian Government is responsible for coordinating national animal health policy, international animal health matters, trade negotiations, international communication and disease reporting to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), quarantine and biosecurity at the pre-border, border and post-border. Under the Commonwealth, two committees in charge for decisions in the overall EAD response are convened specifically for an outbreak. These are the National Management Group (NMG) and Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Diseases (CCEAD). Within each group are government and industry representation from parties affected by the EAD outbreak.
Biosecurity refers to procedures or measures used to protect a country, state or individual farming property from the entry and spread of unwanted pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants. It includes precautions taken to minimise the risk of introducing an infectious disease into an animal population, and to reduce infectious disease spread. It is ideal to prevent the entry and occurrence of an EAD in the first place.
All individuals and organisations that make up Australia’s animal and plant industries have a responsibility to protect Australia’s agriculture. Biosecurity actions should be taken at all levels, starting at producers on individual farms and enterprises through to state and national government.