Representing the profession and our members on issues important to today and the future.

Strategic priorities & advocacy

The AVA's advocacy program aims to position our members as Australia's animal health and welfare leaders.

We monitor and respond to issues that may impact the profession, animals, and the community.  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 companion animal management, veterinary legislation, prescribing rights, and pet food regulation to name a few.

AVA priorities for the next Australian Government 

The AVA has released its policy platform for 2019 federal election.

AVA Priorities for the Next Australian Government highlights the important role of veterinarians in society and covers the following key themes revealed during member consultation in 2018.

Strategic priorities

Our major advocacy programs are based on the AVA's strategic priorities for 2018 - 2020. These were developed through member consultation in the early months of 2018, and were approved by the Board in April 2018. They represent the most important current areas of concern to AVA members.

From 2018 - 2020 our 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.

These include:

  • 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 insurance to increase its attractiveness to clients and veterinarians
  • Supporting veterinarians in responsibly promoting pet insurance and 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 practitioners  in an emergency animal disease outbreak and ensuring private contractors are covered by insurance
  • Participating in the National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy to 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

Advocacy Update

Read about some of the current activities we are undertaking under our 3 Strategic Priority headings: Our Profession, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Animal Welfare.

Emergency animal diseases

Australia has a detailed plan for responding to emergency disease outbreaks called AUSVETPLAN.

Natural disasters

Animals are often caught up in disasters, so veterinarians have an important role in disaster response.