AVA advocacy on Australia’s Disaster Resilience

08 Feb 2024

The AVA provided a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Disaster Resilience. The AVA submission advocates for veterinary services to disaster impacted animals be included in the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, for increased public awareness for animal disaster preparedness, and incorporating animal impacts into disaster reporting data. The full AVA submission is available here.


The submission to the Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Disaster Resilience is part of the AVA ongoing advocacy activities for:

  • Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements: The AVA recognises the significant importance of the current Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), a cost-sharing initiative between the Australian Government and State/Territory Governments. This arrangement provides much-needed financial aid to individuals, businesses, and communities affected by disasters. However, a critical gap exists in the DRFA provisions, as it fails to include emergency veterinary care for disaster affected animals as an eligible relief and recovery measure.
  • Public Awareness: The AVA highlights the critical role that public awareness plays in ensuring animal welfare during disasters. There is a pressing need for increased government funded public awareness campaigns specifically tailored towards animal disaster preparedness.
  • Animal Disaster Impact Reporting: Current disaster reporting frequently fails to account for the wide-ranging and devastating effects on animals, including livestock, companion animals, and wildlife, by omitting comprehensive statistics on animal injuries and fatalities. The AVA is calling for all disaster impact reporting to include data on animal injuries and deaths. Such animal welfare information would provide a more accurate reflection of the disaster's impacts, thereby prompting a more suitable response from government, veterinarians and the public.


The AVA advocacy activities include:

  • Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Disaster Resilience
  • Submission to the Independent Review of Commonwealth Disaster Funding
  • Letter to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) available here.
  • Letter to the Minister for Emergency Management. The Minister provided a response to the AVA advocacy advising he; asked the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to explore the development of a specific animal welfare assistance package that could include veterinary care activities, supports the AVA request for inclusion of animal loss and injury statistics in major incident reports and asked NEMA to raise this with the states, and commends the work of the AVA and its members in caring for impacted animals during times of disaster. A copy of the Minister’s letter is available here.


Of interest, the AVA has updated some key resources to keep the profession informed around Natural Disasters – specifically:


Please contact AVA Senior Advocacy Officer Liz Gemes at liz.gemes@ava.com.au if you would like further information.