Vets welcome announcement of new biosecurity surveillance initiative

Media release date: 
Friday, 23 February 2018

The peak body for veterinarians, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), has welcomed the announcement of a new initiative aimed at improving biosecurity surveillance and protecting Australia’s favourable disease-free status.

The Northern Australia Biosecurity Surveillance (NABS) Significant Disease Investigation Network (SDIN) is being launched today at a biosecurity masterclass in Townsville in northern Queensland. The SDIN has been established in collaboration with state governments and with the support of AVA with the aim of increasing collaboration among private and government veterinarians operating in extensive cattle production areas in northern Australia, as well as maximising surveillance capacity in the area.

AVA president, Dr Paula Parker, said that disease surveillance and investigation is critical in the cattle industry in northern Australia and the newly launched SDIN will play an important role in further enhancing our biosecurity systems in this part of the country.

“SDIN will help veterinarians build a system in 2018 that results in better disease investigation outcomes for cattle producers across the north.

“Currently there are 12 veterinary clinics engaged in the SDIN program. These clinics service the cattle industry in northern Australia and have veterinarians who are on the ground actively working with producers every day to improve on-farm biosecurity and prevent and detect animal diseases. Bringing them together with industry and government will facilitate the sharing of vital information and resources on the current state of biosecurity and animal disease on farms in Australia’s north.  

“This initiative is a good example of government, industry and the private sectors coming together for the long-term benefit of agricultural industries and producers in northern Australia. Ultimately, it will help to improve on-farm management of animal health, provide evidence of freedom from disease for trade and enable the early detection of incursions,” Dr Parker said.

For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on (02) 9431 5062, 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health and welfare.

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