The AVA's advocacy program monitors and responds to issues that may impact the profession. This involves meeting with key industry and government stakeholders, and members of parliament, to represent member views on a range of issues.
We make a large number of written submissions to government agencies on proposed changes to policy and legislation. This has proven to be our most powerful method for effecting change on topics that matter to our members, such as veterinary legislation, prescribing rights, biosecurity, public health, companion animal management, and pet food regulation to name a few.
AVA Federal Election Platforms.
For the last (2019) federal election the AVA developed the document: AVA Priorities for the Next Australian Government. This highlights the important role of veterinarians in society and covered key themes revealed during member consultation in 2018. A further election platform is being prepared for the upcoming Federal 2021-22 election.
Our major advocacy programs are based on the AVA's strategic priorities for 2018 - 2021. These were developed through member consultation and approved by the Board in 2018. They represent the most important current areas of concern to AVA members. The JWS member research in 2020 further reinforced the issues relevant to the profession.
Our current three strategic priorities are:
Goals achieved in recent years
The program of advocacy work has allowed the AVA to achieve some important goals in recent years.
- Recognition of veterinarians as essential service providers in the COVID pandemic 2020.
- Management of the AVA's 2019-2020 bushfire response
- Formation of a COVID-19 Working Group and dissemination of scientific resources for members to navigate through the pandemic
- Working towards harmonisation of veterinary practice acts across the country, as well as national recognition of veterinary registration (NRVR)
- Protecting and strengthening the legal framework around restricted acts of veterinary science in states and territories
- Advocating for better resourcing of government veterinary services in animal health and welfare.
- Undertaking workforce modelling to understand workforce dynamics including employment and attrition rates, as well as the role of veterinary undergraduate education and other policy settings that affect the future supply of veterinarians
- Seeking and achieving changes in pet insuranceto increase its attractiveness to clients and veterinarians
- Supporting veterinarians in responsibly promoting pet insuranceand other payment options
- Undertaking exploratory research into the demand drivers for production animal veterinary services
- Providing informed input into the review of the Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2010
- Finalising national arrangements for engaging private veterinary practitionersin an emergency animal disease outbreak and ensuring private contractors are covered by insurance
- Participating in the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategyto address the threat of antimicrobial resistance, and commencing development of antimicrobial prescribing guidelines for livestock species.
- Promoting greater understanding of responsible antibiotic prescribing among veterinarians, and providing resources to increase judicious veterinary use
- Raising awareness of the health and welfare problems associated with exaggerated features in certain dog breed standards, in conjunction with RSPCA Australia (Love is Blind)
- Significantly influencing the public debate and government policy on live export of sheep to the Middle East, as well as appropriate standards for export of all livestock into the future
- Significantly influencing Senate recommendations into pet food regulation in 2018