Skip to content

EAD Response Agreement

Animal Health Australia (AHA) manages the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA), a unique contractual arrangement between Australia’s governments and industry groups to collectively reduce the risk of disease incursions and manage a response if an outbreak occurs.

The Agreement

The Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (‘the Agreement’ or EADRA) is a unique contractual arrangement signed in 2002 that brings together the Australian, state and territory governments and livestock industry groups to collectively and significantly increase Australia’s capacity to prepare for—and respond to—emergency animal disease (EAD) incursions.

The EADRA covers 66 categorised animal diseases and 23 Signatories to the Deed (governments and industry bodies).

The main benefit of the Agreement is the ability to respond quickly and effectively to an EAD incident while minimising uncertainty over management and funding arrangements.

EADRA approaches

All signatories have agreed to work collectively to reduce the risk of emergency animal disease (EAD) incursions and share the approved costs of EAD responses. The EADRA also provides an innovative framework (outlined below) to combine multiple dynamic approaches to combating EADs.

Participation and cooperation

All parties commit to the participation in an EAD response through informed and empowered representatives who cooperate to determine and direct the response. This unique approach facilitates effective participation across state and territory boundaries and gives each participating industry a ‘real voice’.

Risk management

While the Agreement ensures that funds to combat an EAD are made available and the costs shared among the beneficiaries of the response, it also commits parties to take all reasonable steps to minimise the risk of an EAD occurrence in the first place (eg through the development and implementation of biosecurity plans.

Detection and response

All parties commit to maintaining the capability to ensure early detection of—and an effective response to—an EAD.

Cost sharing

All parties commit to contribute to funding the eligible costs of responding to an EAD by which they are affected. The costs to be shared are identified under the Agreement. Some of the rules around cost sharing can be summarised as follows:

  • Cost sharing is aimed at equitable contributions from all parties, commensurate with their respective resource base and status as a beneficiary of the response.
  • The total amount of response costs that government and industry parties share in the event of an EAD is capped, depending on the size of the affected industry.
  • EADs are categorised according to the impact they can have on livestock industry production (eg international trade losses, domestic market disruptions, production losses), human health and the environment. An EAD’s category determines how much of the response costs are borne by affected industries in aggregate and how much by governments.
  • A party that is not a beneficiary of the response is not required to share the costs, but neither does it have a say in determining the response.
  • Compensation payable to an owner under state or territory legislation, which may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, may be included in cost-sharing under the Agreement.


Training is an essential part in ensuring the efficacy of a response. The EADRA provides for the training of relevant personnel.

Maintenance of the EADRA

Since 2002, the EADRA has been used in a number of real and simulated responses. When using the EADRA, various parties may identify areas where the Deed could be improved.

To maintain the EADRA, AHA:


Related links


Page reviewed: 13/01/2021