2017 Advocacy Highlights

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

PROJECT

NATIONAL ADVOCACY TEAM – KEY PROJECTS 2017

ANIMAL WELFARE

Love is Blind

 

In 2017 we rolled out the “Love is Blind” campaign, about the health and welfare problems in dog breeds with exaggerated features.  The campaign was a collaboration between AVA and RSPCA Australia.

Resources for veterinarians can be found at the AVA website: www.ava.com.au/loveisblind

In September, Melanie Latter and the AVA President, Dr Paula Parker, worked with RSPCA's Dr Bronwyn Orr to develop a 2017/18 Summer heat stroke campaign. Four new videos were produced, where Paula talks about the increased risks faced by brachycephalic breeds in summer.  See www.loveisblind.org.au  “Summer Series” videos 1-4.  

Paula Parker also appeared on the SBS program “The Feed” on 15 November, talking about the campaign and her experiences as an Emergency and Critical Care veterinarian dealing with problems in these breeds.

The Comms team have organised media and social media dissemination of our messages, to raise public awareness.  Their tweet on World Animal Day (4 October) was one of the AVA's highest re-tweeted messages ever.

We have developed a new policy that we will no longer allow use of breeds with exaggerated features in AVA advertising. Sponsors and advertisers continue to be notified.

Anaesthesia-free dentistry

(Cosmetic teeth cleaning)

In 2018 we are planning a campaign to educate the public about the risks of anaesthesia-free lay dental providers for pets.

The AVDS President, Dr Tara Cashman, produced an informative article for the October 2017 Vet Practice magazine about this issue, and some press has gone out from AVA as well.  We plan to produce resources that vets can use to educate their clients and to raise awareness of the need for proper veterinary dental examinations under GA.

The relevant policy is here: www.ava.com.au/node/85991

Live Export

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) is undertaking a review of the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL).  Two AVA members have been nominated to be part of the review committee, and we await the outcome of this process.  There will be opportunities for member comment as documents are released for public consultation.

BFF Pet Food Issue and Pet Food Standards

In May 2017 we were alerted to a suspected pet food issue through our PetFAST monitoring scheme, developed by AVA and PFIAA to monitor adverse events.

The issue was related to the feeding of BFF cat food.  The PetFAST scheme enabled us to quickly alert the retailer and manufacturer, so that the product was pulled from the shelves in Australia.  Several email alerts were then sent to members to advise of the situation and give advice on treatment and testing.  There are ongoing studies to investigate the cause(s) of this. 

We are grateful to have the expert help of Dr Sue Foster and Dr Linda Fleeman, who were instrumental in setting up the PetFAST scheme.  They also contributed to the 2017 review of Pet Food Standards AS5812.

ACES (eye scheme) review

Currently the Australian Companion Animal Eye Scheme (ACES) is undergoing review and Melanie is assisting in that process.

AMR

Antibiotic prescribing guidelines

In 2017 the AVA embarked on a project in partnership with Animal Medicines Australia, to develop best-practice antibiotic prescribing guidelines for horses and the main livestock species. 

The first module to be developed is the prescribing guidelines for pigs, with additional funding provided by The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and Australian Pork Limited.  We have appointed Dr Sarah Britton as Project Manager and she works closely with the Steering Committee chaired by Melanie Latter.

National AMR Strategy

The AVA was involved in the development of Australia’s National AMR Strategy 2015-19, and we are committed to a number of activities to tackle the issue from a One Health perspective.

The AVA is represented on the Australian Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Antimicrobial Resistance that develops and provides expert advice on AMR-related issues to the government. 

In 2017 we represented the profession at a number of national forums, where we highlighted the work the veterinary profession is doing to address this issue.

The AVA was a major contributor at the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) and the Australian Society for Antimicrobials (ASA) Antimicrobial Resistance Summit, where veterinarians, including the AVA President were strongly featured throughout the program.  We also promoted the resources and materials that have been developed by the AVA for the veterinary profession.  These can be accessed here: www.ava.com.au/amr

ACT AMR pilot trial

In 2017 we ran an Antimicrobial Stewardship Pilot Trial in Canberra, with up to 70 vets and 15 practices participating.  This was a collaboration made possible by the hard work of Dr Alison Taylor, Dr Michael Archinal, Dr Stephen Page and Dr Jane Heller from CSU. It was a 12-month trial, and results are pending.  We hope to implement this in other regions in the near future.

AMR and One Health

Debbie and Melanie assisted the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) and Department of Health develop a national One Health AMR website this year. It was launched on 13 November for world AMR week:  www.amr.gov.au

It includes a number of mentions of AVA, with links to AVA resources (AMR fact sheets, infection control guidelines, and BioCheck). We were pleased to see recognition of the AVA’s leadership on this issue.

AVA AMR Advisory Group (ARAG)

We have a wonderful collection of AVA members who are experts in AMR, and who assist us with our advocacy in this space.   We have regular meetings with them to progress leadership initiatives in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.  This committee is Chaired by Debbie Neutze.

 

WHO World Antibiotic Awareness Week

13-19 November 2017

 

In 2017 we again participated in the World Health Organisation’s Antibiotic Awareness Week.

Our awareness activities were designed to align with WHO campaign key messages

A range of AMR articles and messages were developed for the AVJ and Vet Voice, as well as social media platforms.  This included messages about preventative hygiene on Global Handwashing Day, 15 October 2017.

BETTER REGULATION

Better Legislation

In 2017, Debbie developed a paper for ASAV on Pets in Housing, including a proposed advocacy strategy to increase the ability of community members to keep pets in rental accommodation.  We contributed to several submissions to state governments on these issues.

National Mutual Recognition &  Harmonisation of Vet Practice legislation

AVA has continued to advocate strongly for National Mutual Recognition (NRVR) and Harmonisation of Vet Practice legislation.

At the end of 2017, there is consultation occurring in the ACT on a Bill to renew the ACT Veterinary Surgeons Act. The proposed new Act includes introducing NRVR and has implemented many of the changes advocated in the AVA Recommended key principles for veterinary practice acts in Australia, developed by Debbie Neutze. 

However, we are opposing a couple of changes, including the proposal for a non-veterinarian as the Chair of the Board, and appointment of all Board members directly by the Minister.  We will supply further updates as they come to hand.

In the NT and WA, the advocacy work is ongoing on this issue.

Regulation of paraprofessionals

Policy Council is in the process of developing a policy on regulation of paraprofessionals.

VET training packages

We have engaged proactively with Skills Impact, the new national Skills Service Organisation (SSO) that is responsible for training packages, including veterinary nursing and equine dentistry.

We have enabled AVA members to be represented on the technical advisory groups for these packages, and have made several written submissions resulting in many of the changes that we have recommended being incorporated into the packages.

Our representative, Dr Julia Crawford on the associated Industry Reference Committee continues to do an outstanding job.

Skills Impact are presently undertaking their environmental scanning meetings to examine what training packages they should be developing for the agricultural industries.

Review of Agvet Legislation and Veterinary Prescribing Rights

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) is undertaking a review of Agvet legislation, intended to produce national harmonisation of prescribing legislation and remove the problematic inconsistencies between states. 

AVA has provided some initial comments in July 2017, but the detailed part of the review is yet to commence.  In 2018, we will consult widely with members to ensure appropriate representation for the profession throughout this process. 

ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY

Real-time FMD Nepal

The AVA was awarded a grant from the Australian Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper funding for 8 members to participate in Real-time FMD training in Nepal in 2018-19.

Melanie has been coordinating this process and we are pleased to advise that 8 AVA members were selected in November, and the first few participants will be going over to Nepal in March 2018.

Veterinary Industrial Award

The AVA continues to engage with the FairWork Commission’s 4 Yearly review of Modern Awards.

Debbie Neutze attended the VBG conference including discussing issues relating to the Animal Services and Veterinary Services Award with delegates at the Hub.

Australian Taxation Office Small Business Stewardship Group

We have representation on the ATO Small Business Stewardship Group where we have input into proposed changes to the ATO functions and legislation. The ATO provides information relevant to our members which is distributed through the VBG.

Work Health and Safety

Debbie has assisted the VBG to develop some industry specific WHS guidelines

Pet Insurance

We continue to meet on a regular basis with the different pet insurance companies, advocating based on our Pet Insurance position statement recommendations. We worked with Guild and Meridian to provide members with advice around the risks of providing or not providing clinical records to Pet Insurance companies.

Peri-urban biosecurity training “Vet Learn”

In 2017, Melanie assisted in the development of a project led by Dr Sarah Britton of NSW DPI, in partnership with AVA and Animal Health Australia, developing an online peri-urban training course for veterinarians.  The modules have been widely promoted and can be accessed here:

www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/greater-sydney-peri-urban.

Animal Health Alert App  “Look, Check”

We continue to work towards the finalisation of an Animal Health Alert App with a pilot trial planned for early 2018 in Northern Australia.  If trial successful, plan is to launch as part of a Northern Australia surveillance package in February 2018.

WORKFORCE

Workforce

We prepared and released the biennial Australian Veterinary Workforce Analysis. We are now underway collecting data from the universities and veterinary Boards to undertake further workforce modeling.

The AVA made submissions to the Visa Simplification Review.

Higher Education

Debbie undertook several meetings with the Minister of Education’s office, Department heads and written submissions, which resulted in the inclusion of an increased funding for the clinical training for veterinary students in the 2017 Higher Education reform package.

While this package has not been able to get through the Senate, there is recognition through the work that the AVA has done (including having veterinary science education funding looked at in the government’s Deloitte report into the Cost of Delivery of Higher Education) that veterinary education is underfunded and this needs to be addressed.

 

National Advocacy Team - Key Meetings and Submissions since March 2017

Meeting

NFF Members Forum Canberra

21-03-17

Meeting

Greencross Veterinary Advisory Board

21-03-17

Meeting

AHA Members Forum Canberra

22-03-17

Meeting

NFF Animal Welfare Taskforce

22-03-17

Meeting

Animal Medicines Australia “Meet the Ministers” Parliament House

22-03-17

Meeting

ACVO Biosecurity Review

22-03-17

Teleconference

Australian Companion Animal Forum

05-04-17

Meeting

NFF CEO

10-04-17

Meeting

Cattle Council CEO

10-04-17

Teleconference

AVA Antimicrobial Advisory Group (ARAG)

10-04-17

Submission

Statutory Declaration Review - recommending vets remain as authorised witnesses

12-04-17

Meeting

ACT Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC)

20-04-17

Meeting

NFF Rural Affairs Manager, re joint animal welfare initiative (NFF, AVA, RSPCA)

20-04-17

Meeting

AHA –Animal Health Alert App

27-04-17

Meeting

Zoetis re Cylap vaccine for rabbits

28-04-17

Meeting

ACT Animal Welfare Advisory Committee

2-05-17

Teleconference

Pet Food Industry Association, AVA PetFAST vets, Weruva Directors

3-05-17

Submission

Veterinary Nurse Training Package

8-05-17

Submission

National Pet Food Standards

8-05-17

Meeting

Dept of Immigration 457 Visa Agriculture Roundtable

31-05-17

Meeting

AVA Animal Welfare Trust

5-6-17

Meeting

AVA AMR Advisory Group (ARAG)

7-6-17

Meeting

Skills Impact Equine Dentistry Technical Advisory Committee

 7-6-17

Meeting

Senator Chris Back

19-6-17

Teleconference

PFIAA, PetFAST team

19-6-17

Submission

Vet Nursing Training Package (Skills Impact)

27-6-17

Workshop

NSW Department of Health – Q fever public health workshop

03- 7-17

Teleconference

Land clearing AVCB welfare initiative

11-07-17

Meeting

Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper Biosecurity Forum

13-07-17

Submission

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Operational Efficiency) Bill 2017

19-7-17

Meeting

PetSure Sydney

20-7-17

Meeting

Animal Health Australia CEO 

21-7-17

Meeting

Qld Health - Consultation on stricter regulation for Pentobarbitone in Queensland

21-7-17

Meeting

Animal Health Australia

21-07-17

Meeting

RSPCA CEO Heather Neil re Love is Blind promotion

21-07-17

Meeting (T/C)

Don Burke - lobbying related to governance structure of APVMA

26-7-17

Submission

Identifying Best Practice Cat Management in Australia (RSPCA)

27-7-17

Meeting

ATO Small Business Stewardship Committee – discussed new small business legislation, superannuation changes, cash economy and FBT for small business

27-7-17

Meeting

ACCC meeting with David Leyonhelm as speaker

31-7-17

Meeting

Australian Companion Animal Forum teleconference

3-8-17

Report

Australia’s First National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2015-2019 – Progress report

3-8-17

Report

National Animal Health Training Steering Committee (NAHTSC)

3-8-17

Submission

NFF Joint Policy Workshop

4-8-17

Teleconference

AB Prescribing Guidelines Steering Committee

8-8-17

Submission

AUSVETPLAN Disease strategy: Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV)

10-8-17

Submission

Amendments to the Veterinary Practice Act (Victoria)

10-8-17

Teleconference

ACES (eye scheme) review discussions – Ophthalmology panel

21-8-17

Meeting

Animal Medicines Australia CEO

22-8-17

Submission

DAWR Live Export Review Committee Nominations

23-8-17

Teleconference

RSPCA Australia – Love is Blind summer campaign

25-8-17

Roundtable

Higher Education Roundtable with Minister Birmingham and his advisors

30-08-17

Meeting

With Jacqui Norris re Online AMR course

31-08-17

Interview

Supply of Q fever vaccines- Department of Health

01-09-17

Nominations

OIE Committee nominations to AVCO 

11-09-17

Submission

Dept of Immigration’s Visa Simplification Discussion paper

15-9-17

Meeting

Dept Ag and Water Resources (DAWR) and AMA re Antimicrobial Growth Promotants

19-09-17

Meeting

AHA Members Forum

21-09-17

Meeting

RSPCA - discuss Love is Blind prior to filming

27-09-17

Meeting

ACT Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (AWAC)

3-10-17

Letter

Canberra “In the City” Miniature Dog races - Letter to CEO of event organisers

6-10-17

Response

DFAT – re Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement and Mutual Recognition Arrangement for vet services  - responded that we did not support

12-10-17

Meeting

AB Prescribing Guidelines Steering Committee

13-10-17

Response

Australian Physiotherapy Board – change of name of animal physiotherapists

13-10-17

Seminar

EAD update AAHL CSIRO Laboratory Geelong

18/19 -10-17

Meeting

AB Prescribing Guidelines Steering Committee

27-10-17

Meeting

Antimicrobial Resistance Advisory Group (ARAG) Teleconference

30-10-17

Workshop

One Welfare – Sydney University Faculty of Veterinary Science

31-10-17

Meeting

National AMR Forum and Veterinary AMR Workshop

2/3-11-17

Teleconference

Antibiotic Prescribing Guidelines Steering Committee

6-11-17

Meeting

ACT Animal Welfare Advisory Committee

7-11-17

Meeting

ACT Veterinary Surgeons Act review consultation

9-11-17

Teleconference

AB Prescribing Guidelines

21-11-17

Submission

ACT Veterinary Surgeons Act review

23-11-17

Meeting

AB Prescribing Guidelines

28-11-17

Meeting

Minister Fitzgibbon, Shadow Ag Minister senior advisor – animal welfare, AMR, rural practice sustainability

6-12-17

Meeting

Minister Birmingham Education Minister senior advisor – Higher Education reforms

6-12-17

Meeting

ACT Department TCCS – Vet Practice  Act review

6-12-17

Meeting

Animal Medicines Australia

8-12-17

Meeting

Greencross Veterinary Directors

12-12-17

Meeting

NFF Farming Systems Committee (Agvet chemicals)

21-12-17

Submission

National Poultry Welfare Standards and Guidelines

Due: 26-2-18

Submission

Macrolide Antibiotic Review

Due: 28-2-18

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