Emergency Animal Diseases
Emergency animal diseases can cause serious consequences to industries, communities and people.
For example, the equine influenza outbreak in New South Wales and Queensland during 2007-2008 cost Australian governments at least $350 million in direct costs. It also cost an additional $1.5 billion in indirect costs to the horse industry and the nation.
Should Australia experience a large foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in several states, the cost to the nation has been estimated at more than $50 billion over 10 years. In addition to the response costs borne by governments and industry, an outbreak would take a massive toll on agricultural communities and businesses in rural and regional Australia. Disease threats to animals are serious and potentially expensive to the Australian economy and to people’s livelihoods.
Australia has a detailed plan for responding to emergency disease outbreaks called AUSVETPLAN. This plan has been used in recent years to respond to equine influenza and Hendra virus outbreaks.