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Animal Health Australia (AHA) works in consultation with its members to prepare and review the Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN) manuals and supporting documents that guide governments and industry through a preferred approach to manage any emergency animal disease (EAD) incident.

Effective responses to EADs require planning at national, state/territory and district levels, as well as the involvement of animal health authorities, livestock industries and emergency management organisations.

AUSVETPLAN is a comprehensive series of manuals that sets out the various roles, responsibilities and policy guidelines for organisations involved in an EAD response. AUSVETPLAN manuals are also used for training to ensure that the plans will be effective and personnel are trained in advance of an EAD outbreak.

The availability of agreed AUSVETPLAN disease strategies ensures that informed decisions about the policies and procedures needed to manage an EAD incident in Australia are immediately at hand and there is no time lost in mounting the response. Therefore, as many policy principles as possible should be agreed in ‘peacetime’ (ie before an EAD outbreak).

Why AUSVETPLAN is important

The Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) is a unique contractual arrangement that binds the Australian, state and territory governments and livestock industry groups to collectively and significantly increase Australia’s capacity to prepare for—and respond to—EAD incursions.

For all diseases listed in the EADRA, there is a preferred approach to an outbreak. These preferred approaches have been developed and agreed upon by governments and relevant industries in ‘peacetime’ and are captured in the AUSVETPLAN disease strategies and response policy briefs.The value of AUSVETPLAN disease strategies was demonstrated by the successful response and eradication of equine influenza from Australia following the outbreak in 2007. Lessons learnt from the actual response have been incorporated into a revised disease strategy for equine influenza.

AUSVETPLAN Business Plan

Aligned with AHA’s Strategic Plan 2010–2015, a key initiative in Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) Preparedness and Response is the development of a rolling 3-year business plan for AUSVETPLAN.

The rationale is to achieve a longer-term commitment by funding parties to ensure relevance, currency and improved usability of AUSVETPLAN manuals through a risk-based prioritisation process, and to achieve greater continuity in progressing especially those work priorities that tend to span several years, often with a change in focus.

The AUSVETPLAN Business Plan aims to:

  • provide AHA members with more detail about the AUSVETPLAN project than is provided in the AHA annual operating plan, to which the project is linked
  • assist AHA members to make a decision on the AUSVETPLAN-specific section of the operating plan before being asked to endorse the operating plan
  • provide direction on the development and implementation of AUSVETPLAN project priority activities.

AHA, in consultation with its members, prepared the AUSVETPLAN Business Plan, which was formally endorsed at the Members Forum in 2013. In 2014, Section 6—Financial management was updated to reflect agreed core funding arrangements.


Chairperson, AUSVETPLAN Technical Review Group

Animal Health Australia

Level 2, 95 Northbourne Ave, Turner ACT 2612

PO BOX 5116, Braddon ACT 2612


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Page reviewed: December 2, 2015