New AUSVETPLAN guidance document to support tracing and surveillance plans
20 Dec 2016
A new AUSVETPLAN guidance document has recently been published by Animal Health Australia (AHA) to help prepare emergency response personnel to implement policy during an emergency animal disease response.
The AUSVETPLAN guidance document: Tracing and surveillance explains common concepts in the development of tracing and surveillance plans to assist staff undertaking training in those response functions. It was created by a writing group consisting of jurisdictional staff from WA and Tasmania, an AHA staff member and an epidemiologist at AusVet.
Mary Lou Conway, AUSVETPLAN Technical Review Group member and writing group chair said the document was developed to help make the process of tracing and surveillance easier for responders of all experience levels.
“We hoped to demystify tracing and surveillance so that planning can proceed with some confidence even for raw recruits,” said Dr Conway.
Guidance documents are not endorsed AUSVETPLAN manuals but support other manuals – in this case the Control Centre Management Manual – and provide additional information to stakeholders.
In addition to review by jurisdictional representatives, the guidance document underwent thorough testing during Exercise Apollo, a simulated biosecurity emergency response exercise held in WA earlier this year.
Jamie Finkelstein, Veterinary Officer with the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia said the document’s value was highlighted during the exercise.
“It was evident that it came in handy for a large number of people,” said Dr Finkelstein.
The new document, along with all of the other AUSVETPLAN manuals and documents, can be accessed on the Animal Health Australia website here.