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TSE surveillance training

Animal Health Australia (AHA) manages the TSE Freedom Assurance Project, which supports a consistent approach to specimen collecting.

Raising awareness about TSEs

Australian governments and peak industry bodies are jointly responsible for advising their staff and members about Australia’s TSE prevention measures:

  • State and territory departments of primary industries are responsible for delivery of specific training to private veterinarians and their own staff, as well as local awareness programs.
  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is responsible for awareness and training in export abattoirs, including formal short courses and self-paced learning through manuals and videos.
  • Government officers, industry organisations and veterinary practitioners play an important role to raise local awareness among producers and other veterinarians of the need to report nervous diseases in cattle and sheep.

AHA publishes supporting materials on TSEs to ensure a consistent national approach.

TSE training requirements

Training of practitioners and government officers should include:

  • awareness of TSEs
  • nature of each TSE disease
  • selection of eligible animals
  • specimen collection and laboratory submissions.

Appropriate training should ensure the occurrence of TSEs in Australian livestock can be ruled out and alternative diagnoses confirmed whenever possible.

Both BSE and scrapie are exotic diseases, so awareness of the methods of detection and actions to be taken in the event of an occurrence are addressed in:

Aids for TSE training

AHA has developed two main training aids for TSEs.

NTSESP training guide

Some people might find the images and footage of procedures in this guide distressing and discretion is advised.

The guide contains information for veterinarians and animal health officers who collect submissions for the National TSE Surveillance Program

The NTSESP Training Guide can be found online on AHA’s Learning System.

Learners already registered in the system can use their existing login details and find the course by clicking on ‘Browse learning.’

To register as a learner:

  1. Access the AHA Learning System.
  2. Click on the ‘Register’ link in the log-in panel and fill in your details ensuring that you use your own personal email address, then click the ‘Sign Up’ link.
  3. An email will be sent to you with a link to set your password. Click on the link in the email and type in your preferred password.
  4. You will be taken to the Learning homepage. Click on the ‘Browse Learning’ tile to search for and enrol in the NSTESP Training Guide.

TSE sample collection training video

Some people could be offended by scenes in this video.

This training video was developed to assist veterinarians and animal health specialists with the collection of brain tissue for testing of TSE.

Graphical representation is necessary to allow for the procedure to be accurately and safely performed by qualified veterinarians and animal health specialists.

Related links


Page reviewed: 06/12/2016