Emergency Animal Diseases
Emergency animal diseases (EADs) refer to diseases that are exotic to Australia, to new and emerging diseases that are of national significance, and it can also include serious outbreaks of diseases that may already be endemic in the country.
The AVA has developed this resource to house information about significant emergency animal diseases, including; Lumpy skin disease, Foot-and-mouth disease, Japanese encephalitis, High pathogenicity avian influenza, African swine fever and Ehrlichia. These pages will be updated as required, and we will also continue to keep AVA members informed of our advocacy in this space.
Emergency animal diseases can cause serious consequences to industries, communities and people. Prevention of entry, early detection and rapid response management are recognised as the most cost effective methods of managing EADs.
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 outbreak of a disease such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in several states, the cost to the nation has been estimated at more than $80 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. Veterinarians have an important role to play in monitoring against emergency animal diseases and also being involved in any response to an EAD outbreak.
Australia has a detailed plan for responding to emergency animal disease outbreaks called AUSVETPLAN. This plan has been used in recent years to respond to equine influenza and Hendra virus outbreaks.
Online training about EADs for veterinary teams :
- The Emergency Animal Disease Foundation courses - found at the Animal Health Australia
- Emergency Animal Disease Surveillance Online Training
- Foot-and-mouth disease online training for veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals
- Lumpy skin disease awareness program – found at Mintrac
- VETLEARN - Veterinarians, Hobby Farmers and Backyard Livestock
This online course is designed to help veterinarians build their business and improve biosecurity outcomes with smallholders, resulting in early detection of an EAD. (2 structured CPD or VETED points). Registration is online, to begin the course enrol here.
Resources for veterinarians performing disease investigations
The AVA and ACV has partnered with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to produce a differential diagnosis for Lumpy Skin Disease chart. A similar chart for foot-and-mouth disease is in the works.