Code for infection control


Ratification Date: 17 Oct 1999


The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) supports practices that:

  • ensure the safety and welfare of all animals under veterinary care
  • provide a safe and healthy working environment for owners, veterinarians and staff.

Animal hospitals and practitioners have a duty of care and must take reasonable action to safeguard animals, staff and the public from infection. Employers must establish procedures and provide information, training and supervision, especially for infection control.

Veterinarians must be conscious of the potential for zoonoses to present as inapparent infections in animals and of their responsibilities regarding cross infection among animal patients. They must recognise the potential for pyrogens and pathogens to be introduced through inadequate infection control during administration of medication.


The Guidelines for Veterinary Personal Biosecurity 2017 -  Appendix 1: Model infection control plan for veterinary practicessets a minimum standard for infection control in animal hospitals and in the field. The guidelines provide broad principles and a framework for developing infection control procedures to prevent spread of diseases between animals and from animals to staff. Appropriate procedures will vary according to the size and nature of the practice and the facilities.

The attention of practitioners to infection control may be an issue in any proceedings, civil or public, relating to questions of liability.


1. AVA Guidelines for Veterinary Personal Biosecurity 2017.  


Date of ratification by AVA Board 17 October 1999.  Links updated March 2023