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Glossary (pdf – 147kb)

A – C

Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (AVCO) – The nominated senior veterinarian in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources who manages international animal health commitments and the Australian Government’s response to an animal disease outbreak.

Animal Health Committee (AHC) – A committee comprising the CVOs of Australia and New Zealand, Australian state and territory CVOs, Animal Health Australia, Wildlife Health Australia and a CSIRO representative. The committee provides advice to the National Biosecurity Committee on animal health matters, focusing on technical issues and regulatory policy.

Australian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS) – A management system for any emergency published by Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC). 4th Edition 2013.

Animal products – Meat, meat products and other products of animal origin (e.g. eggs, milk) for human consumption or for use in animal feedstuff.

Approved processing facility (APF) – An APF is an abattoir, knackery, milk processing plant or other such facility that maintains increased biosecurity standards. Such a facility could have animals or animal products introduced from lower risk premises under a permit for processing to an approved standard.

At risk premises (ARP) – An ARP is a premises in an RA that contains a live susceptible animal(s) but is not considered at the time of classification to be an IP, DCP, DCPF, SP or TP.

Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN) – A series of technical response plans that describe the proposed Australian approach to an emergency animal disease incident. The documents provide guidance based on sound analysis, linking policy, strategies, implementation, coordination and emergency-management plans

Biological Imports Program (BIP) – DAWR’s Biological Imports Program administers Australian biosecurity conditions for the importation of biological products. These include animal or microbial derived products such as foods, therapeutics, laboratory materials, and vaccines.

Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Diseases (CCEAD) – A committee of state and territory CVOs, representatives of CSIRO Livestock Industries and the relevant industries, and chaired by the ACVO. CCEAD convenes and consults when there is an animal disease emergency due to the introduction of an emergency animal disease of livestock, or other serious epizootic of Australian origin.

Compensation – The sum of money paid by government to an owner for stock that are destroyed and property that is compulsorily destroyed because of an emergency animal disease. See also Cost-sharing arrangements, Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement

Control area (CA) – A CA is a legally declared area where the disease controls, including surveillance and movement controls, applied are of lesser intensity than those in an RA (the limits of a CA and the conditions applying to it can be varied during an incident according to need).

Cost-sharing arrangements – Arrangements agreed between governments (national and states/territories) and livestock industries for sharing the costs of emergency animal disease responses. See also Compensation, Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement

Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) – The senior veterinarian of the animal health authority in each jurisdiction (national, state or territory) who has responsibility for animal disease control in that jurisdiction

D – F

Dangerous contact animal – A susceptible animal that has been designated as being exposed to other infected animals or potentially infectious products following tracing and epidemiological investigation.

Dangerous contact premises (DCP) – A DCP is a premises, apart from an abattoir, knackery or milk processing plant or other such facility, that, after investigation and based on a risk assessment, is considered to contain a susceptible animal(s) not showing clinical signs, but considered highly likely to contain an infected animal(s) and/or contaminated animal products, wastes or things that present an unacceptable risk to the response if the risk is not addressed, and that therefore requires action to address the risk.

Dangerous contact processing facility (DCPF) – A DCPF is an abattoir, knackery, milk processing plant or other such facility that, based on a risk assessment, appears highly likely to have received infected animals, or contaminated animal products, wastes or things, and that requires action to address the risk

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR)– the Victorian government agency responsible for livestock health and welfare.

Declared area – A defined tract of land that is subjected to disease control restrictions under emergency animal disease legislation. Types of declared areas include restricted area, control area, infected premises, dangerous contact premises and suspect premises.

Decontamination – Includes all stages of cleaning and disinfection.

Depopulation – The removal of a host population from a particular area to control or prevent the spread of disease.

Destroy (animals) – To slaughter animals humanely.

Disease agent – A general term for a transmissible organism or other factor that causes an infectious disease.

Disease Watch Hotline – 24-hour free call service for reporting suspected incidences of exotic diseases — 1800 675 888

Disinfectant – A chemical used to destroy disease agents outside a living animal.

Disinfection – The application, after thorough cleaning, of procedures intended to destroy the infectious or parasitic agents of animal diseases, including zoonosis’; applies to premises, vehicles and different objects that may have been directly or indirectly contaminated.

Disposal – Sanitary removal of animal carcases, animal products, materials and wastes by burial, burning or some other process so as to prevent the spread of disease

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tasmania) (DIPIPWE) – the Tasmanian government agency responsible for livestock health and welfare.

Emergency Animal Disease (EAD) – A disease that is (a) exotic to Australia or (b) a variant of an endemic disease or (c) a serious infectious disease of unknown or uncertain cause or (d) a severe outbreak of a known endemic disease, and that is considered to be of national significance with serious social or trade implications. See also Endemic animal disease, Exotic animal diseas

Government and Livestock Industry Cost Sharing Deed in respect of emergency animal diseases (Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement) – Agreement between the Australian and state/territory governments and livestock industries on the management of emergency animal disease responses. Provisions include funding mechanisms, the use of appropriately trained personnel and existing standards such as AUSVETPLAN. See also Compensation, Cost-sharing arrangements

Emergency response phase – This is the period from agreement by the NMG (on advice from the CCEAD) on an EADRP until the NMG determines (on advice from the CCEAD) that the EAD has been contained or eradicated or cannot be eradicated or contained. This is the period during which the EADRP is performed.

Endemic animal disease – A disease affecting animals (which may include humans) that is known to already occur in a country. See also Emergency animal disease, Exotic animal disease

Epidemiological investigation – An investigation to identify and qualify the risk factors associated with the disease. See also Veterinary investigation

Exotic fauna/feral animalsSee Wild animals

Fomites – Inanimate objects (e.g. boots, clothing, equipment, instruments, vehicles, crates, packaging) that can carry an infectious disease agent and may spread the disease through mechanical transmission

Field Veterinary Officer (FVO) – Veterinary officer with responsibility for activities within individual districts of a region.

G – I

Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity (IGAB) – an agreement between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments (with the exception of Tasmania) that came into effect in January 2012. See and

Incident action plan – A daily written plan against which situation reports are prepared by the LCC controller.

In-contact animals – Animals that have had close contact with infected animals, such as non-infected animals in the same group as infected animals.

Incubation period – The period that elapses between the introduction of the pathogen into the animal and the first clinical signs of the disease.

Index case – The first or original case of the disease to be diagnosed in a disease outbreak on the index property.

Index property – The property on which the first or original case (index case) in a disease outbreak is found to have occurred.

Infected premises (IP)  – A defined area (which may be all or part of a property) in which an emergency disease exists, is believed to exist, or in which the infective agent of that emergency disease exists or is believed to exist. An infected premises is subject to quarantine served by notice and to eradication or control procedures.

Incident definition phase – This is the investigation period following formal notification to the CCEAD, as defined in clause 5.1 of the EADRA, of an incident.

Infected Premises (IP)  – An IP is a defined area (which may be all or part of a property) on which animals meeting the case definition are or were present, or the causative agent of the EAD is present, or there is a reasonable suspicion that either is present, and that the relevant CVO or their delegate has declared to be an IP.

J – L

Job card – A written list of tasks to be carried out by an individual or group as part of an emergency response.

Local Control Centre (LCC) – An emergency operations centre responsible for the command and control of field operations in a defined area.

Lead agency – The agency that controls the disease control operation, having special expertise and legal responsibility in that particular type of emergency. Also called lead combat agency.

Logistics – The acquisition and management of resources.

M – O

Monitoring – Routine collection of data for assessing the health status of a population. See also Surveillance

Movement control – Restrictions placed on the movement of animals, people and other things to prevent the spread of disease.

Native wildlife – See Wild animals

National Management Group (NMG) – A group established to direct and coordinate an animal disease emergency. NMGs may include the chief executive officers of the Australian Government and state or territory governments where the emergency occurs, industry representatives, the Australian CVO (and chief medical officer, if applicable) and the chairman of Animal Health Australia.

Notifiable disease – A disease which, if detected, is required to be notified to the CVO (Chief Veterinary Officer) of the relevant jurisdiction

OIE Terrestrial Code – OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, current edition is published on the internet at:

OIE Terrestrial Manual  – OIE Manual of Standards for Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals. Describes standards for laboratory diagnostic tests and the production and control of biological products (principally vaccines). The current edition is published on the internet at:

Operational procedures – Detailed instructions for carrying out specific disease control activities, such as disposal, destruction, decontamination and valuation.

Outside area (OA) – The OA is the area of Australia outside the declared (control and restricted) areas.

Owner – Person responsible for a premises (includes an agent of the owner, such as a manager or other controlling officer).

P – R

Primary Industries and Resources SA (PIRSA) – the South Australian government agency responsible for livestock health and welfare.

Premises – A tract of land including its buildings, or a separate farm or facility that is maintained by a single set of services and personnel.

Premises of relevance (POR) – A POR is a premises in a CA that contains a live susceptible animal(s) but is not considered at the time of classification to be an IP, SP, TP, DCP or DCPF.

Prevalence  – The proportion (or percentage) of animals in a particular population affected by a particular disease (or infection or positive antibody titre) at a given point in time.

Proof of freedom phase – This is the period following determination by the NMG that the EAD has been contained or eradicated. This period may include research and/or surveillance activities and will end when the NMG determines (on advice from the CCEAD or OIE) that the EADRP has been successful.

Quarantine – Legal restrictions imposed on a place or a tract of land by the serving of a notice limiting access or egress of specified animals, persons or things.

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Forestry (QDAF) – the Queensland government agency responsible for livestock health and welfare.

Restricted area (RA) – An RA is a relatively small legally declared area around infected premises (IPs) and dangerous contact premises (DCPs) that is subject disease controls, including intense surveillance and movement controls.

Rehabilitation – Process of adjustment to circumstances prevailing in the aftermath of an emergency disease outbreak.

Resolved premises (RP) – An RP is an IP, DCP or DCPF that has completed the required control measures and is subject to the procedures and restrictions appropriate to the area in which it is located.

Risk enterprise – A defined livestock or related enterprise, which is potentially a major source of infection for many other premises. Includes intensive piggeries, feedlots, abattoirs, knackeries, saleyards, calf scales, milk factories, tanneries, skin sheds, game meat establishments, cold stores, AI centres, veterinary laboratories and hospitals, road and rail freight depots, showgrounds, field days, weighbridges, garbage depots.

S – U

Sensitivity – The proportion of affected individuals in the tested population that are correctly identified as positive by a diagnostic test (true positive rate). See also Specificity

Sentinel animal – Animal of known health status that is monitored to detect the presence of a specific disease agent.

Serotype – A subgroup of microorganisms identified by the antigens carried (as determined by a serology test).


Specificity – The proportion of non-affected individuals in the tested population that are correctly identified as negative by a diagnostic test (true negative rate). See also Sensitivity

Stamping out – Disease eradication strategy based on the quarantine and slaughter of all susceptible animals that are infected or exposed to the disease.

Standby – Forewarning of staff that activation may be imminent, to ensure that they are ready.

Suspect premises (SP) – SP is a temporary classification of a premises that contains a susceptible animal(s) not known to have been exposed to the disease agent but showing clinical signs similar to the case definition, and that therefore requires investigation(s).

Support agency – An agency having a defined role to assist the lead agency to give effect to animal disease emergency-management plans.

Surveillance – A systematic program of investigation designed to establish the presence, extent of, or absence of a disease, or of infection or contamination with the causative organism. It includes the examination of animals for clinical signs, antibodies or the causative organism.

Survey – A program of investigation designed to establish the presence, extent of, or absence of disease

Susceptible animals – Animals that can be infected by a particular pathogen

Suspect animal  – An animal that may have been exposed to an emergency disease such that its quarantine and intensive surveillance, but not pre-emptive slaughter, is warranted. or An animal not known to have been exposed to a disease agent but showing clinical signs requiring differential diagnosis.

Suspect premises (SP) – Temporary classification of premises containing suspect animals. After rapid resolution of the status of the suspect animal(s) contained on it, a suspect premises is reclassified either as an infected premises (and appropriate disease-control measures taken) or as free from disease.

Senior Veterinary Officer (SVO) – A government veterinary officer with regional or state-wide responsibilities for emergency disease management.

Temporary veterinary officer – A non government veterinarian employed by the combat agency to conduct a role specified in the Control Centres Management Manual.

Trace premises (TP) – TP is a temporary classification of a premises that contains a susceptible animal(s) that tracing indicates may have been exposed to the disease agent, or contains contaminated animal products, wastes or things, and that requires investigation(s).

Tracing – The process of locating animals, persons or other items that may be implicated in the spread of disease, so that appropriate action can be taken.

Unknown premises status (UP) – A UP is a premises within a declared area where the current presence of susceptible animals and/or risk products, wastes or things is unknown.

V – Z

Vaccination – Inoculation of healthy individuals with weakened or attenuated strains of disease-causing agents to provide protection from disease.

Vaccine – Modified strains of disease-causing agents that, when inoculated, stimulate an immune response and provide protection from disease.

Vector  – A living organism (frequently an arthropod) that transmits an infectious agent from one host to another. A biological vector is one in which the infectious agent must develop or multiply before becoming infective to a recipient host. A mechanical vector is one that transmits an infectious agent from one host to another but is not essential to the life cycle of the agent.

Veterinary investigation – An investigation of the diagnosis, pathology and epidemiology of the disease. See also Epidemiological investigation

Wild animals

  • native wildlife Animals that are indigenous to Australia and may be susceptible to emergency animal diseases (e.g. bats, dingoes, marsupials).
  • feral animals Animals that are indigenous to Australia and may be susceptible to emergency animal diseases (e.g. bats, dingoes, marsupials).
  • exotic fauna
  • Non domestic animal species that are not indigenous to Australia (e.g. foxes).

Zero susceptible species premises (ZP) – A ZP is a premises that does not contain any susceptible animals or risk products, wastes or things.

Zoning – The process of defining & maintaining disease-free or infected areas in accord with OIE guidelines, based on geopolitical boundaries, movement controls and surveillance, in order to facilitate trade and/or disease control.

Zoonosis – A disease of animals that can be naturally transmitted to humans.


Page reviewed: 17/07/2018