Animal Health Australia (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.
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
- protects Australia’s reputation as a ‘clean, green’ supplier of animals and animal products.
‘Evidence of absence’ is overtaking ‘absence of evidence’ as a key criterion in describing the animal health status of livestock and their products.
National Animal Health Information System (NAHIS)
The National Animal Health Information System (NAHIS) receives animal disease surveillance data from a number of sources, and collates and reports this to AHA’s members and to the public. The NAHIS is integral to demonstrating livestock animal health status and reporting across jurisdictions and production sectors.
Other disease surveillance work
AHA manages a number of specific projects delivering animal disease surveillance information and benefits for its members, who all contribute to the NAHIS.
- Endemic Disease Information System (EDIS) provides summary data collected from national endemic disease programs in Australia, including a public register of properties listed with the Australian Johne’s Disease Market Assurance Program (MAP), the National BJD Strategic Plan and the OJD Management Plan.
- National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP) monitors the distribution of economically important arboviruses (insect-borne viruses) of livestock including bluetongue, Akabane and bovine ephemeral fever viruses and their vectors and.
- National Sheep Health Monitoring Project (NSHMP) monitors abattoir data for sheep health conditions that reduce farm profit through productivity losses or meat processing wastage.
- National Significant Disease Investigation Program (NSDIP) subsidises private veterinary practitioners and jurisdictional laboratory analyses to investigate significant disease incidents in livestock and wildlife.
- Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) Freedom Assurance Program delivers nationally integrated TSE risk minimisation measures to keep Australian animals and their products free from TSE.
- Screw-worm Fly Freedom Assurance Program assists people to collect, identify, and report screw-worm flies, a serious exotic pest threatening Australia’s northern livestock industries and public health.
AHA’s former National Sentinel Hive Program now called the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program is managed by Plant Health Australia.