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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2015 2016
38 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2015-16 ANIMAL HEALTH & WELFARE Animal Health and Welfare (continued) sheepmeat industry strategic direction and oversight for projects funded using sheepmeat producer levies held by AHA. The key three project areas for the sheepmeat industry in AHA are as follows: Emergency Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Services Emergency animal disease (EAD) preparedness is a core responsibility of all AHA members. Its importance is reinforced by the need to ensure rapid and effective responses to EAD incidents to support Australia’s strong export market for livestock and livestock products. The arrangements that Australia has created for cooperative management for a possible emergency (not just exotic) livestock disease are unique and envied by other livestock trading and production countries. To achieve this strategy, AHA manages the Emergency Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Service Stream on behalf of all our members. This includes management of the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA), AUSVETPLAN and EAD Training. The response agreement is between government and industry on how to manage the cost and responsibility for a response to an EAD outbreak. It was developed to facilitate rapid responses to, and control and eradication or containment of, certain EADs. SCA is a signatory to the EADRA. For all diseases listed in the EADRA, there is an agreed approach to responding to an outbreak, set out in AUSVETPLAN, to provide technical information and procedures that enable a cohesive response. The EAD Training project facilitates and delivers education and training to members to assist them with their responsibilities under the EADRA. SCA has work closely with AHA during 2015, and represented other AHA extensive industry members including cattle and goat industries, to develop the EAD training that will be offered to industry representatives that would participate in an EAD should it occur. The first pilot workshop to test this training was held in Perth on Wednesday 27 April 2016. Participants from this training will then attend the national simulation training exercise, Exercise Apollo, in Bunbury from 17-19 May 2016. The exercise provides an excellent opportunity for industry liaison representatives to practice their skills and experience the control centre working environment. Biosecurity and Endemic Disease Management AHA coordinates national animal biosecurity services to protect Australia’s unique environment and support our trade reputation as a supplier of healthy animals and high quality animal products. Biosecurity draws together all projects associated with reducing the disease risks facing Australian livestock production industries. The strategic purpose of the Biosecurity Services division of AHA, as stated in the Annual Operating Plan, is to “raise understanding and awareness of biosecurity, in particular enhancing its adoption on farm through the collaborative development of tools, instruments and sustainable systems; and by supporting national efforts to prevent and/or manage endemic and emergency diseases”. The key focus areas identified to achieve this purpose include biosecurity, industry and traceability programs. The major project within the Biosecurity 2015-16 AHA annual operating plan for the sheep industries is the Sheep Health Project (see previous information box). Market Access Support and Disease Surveillance AHA, its members and other stakeholders recognise that effective disease surveillance and information supports access to domestic and international markets for Australian livestock industries and underpins early detection of emergency and emerging animal diseases. ‘Evidence of absence’ is overtaking ‘absence of evidence’ as a key criterion in describing the animal health status of livestock and their products. Disease surveillance is an integral component of any biosecurity system because it: enables early detection of emerging or emergency diseases, provides a mechanism to assure trading partners, producers and consumers of the health status of livestock and their products, provides Australia’s trading partners with credible and justifiable surveillance data, and, protects Australia’s reputation as a ‘clean, green’ supplier of animals and animal products. To achieve this strategy, AHA manages the Market Access Support Service Stream on behalf of members. This includes the following key projects: • Surveillance Enhancement and Support, including general surveillance • National Animal Health Information System • National Significant Diseases Investigations • National Arbovirus Monitoring Program • Laboratory coordination and the Reference Laboratory Network – Anthrax and Johnes diseases • Livestock Welfare Program • Livestock Welfare Standards Development – Sheep. More information on AHA is available at https://www.animalhealthaustralia.com. au/who-we-are/