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National Animal Health Laboratory Network

Animal Health Australia (AHA) helps to facilitate the National Animal Health Laboratory Network Program to deliver service capability for the effective control of important animal diseases.

Objectives of the network

The National Animal Health Laboratory Network aims to improve Australia’s ability to:

  • define and monitor the occurrence of animal diseases in Australia
  • detect and identify new and emerging diseases in Australia
  • respond to outbreaks of emergency animal diseases in Australia
  • train and retain different laboratory specialists required to staff Australia’s animal health laboratories
  • maintain access to domestic and international markets for livestock and livestock products.

AHA works closely with the Sub-Committee on Animal Health Laboratory Standards (SCAHLS) a subcommittee of the Animal Health Committee that represents the activities of the veterinary laboratory network of Australia and New Zealand and other groups to achieve these objectives.

What the network does

  • Ensure rapid and accurate diagnosis of exotic, endemic, new and emerging animal diseases and other harmful conditions that threaten human and animal health, food safety and quality, market access, animal welfare, animal productivity, biodiversity, wildlife health and national biosecurity.
  • Identify and maximise opportunities for collaboration between federal, state and territory, university and private laboratories, and strengthen links with relevant public health and analytical laboratories.
  • Ensure that Australia’s National Animal Health Laboratory system will meet future requirements for ongoing disease surveillance, in-depth case investigations and surges in demand for testing during emergency situations.
  • Strengthen the national research capability in animal health, including molecular-level pathology, test development, test standardisation and test validation.
  • Implement an agreed laboratory information management system based on uniform reporting standards to facilitate the exchange of information.
  • Strengthen training capabilities for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
  • Provide advice to industry funding bodies on research and development for laboratory tests and services, and contribute to research and development (R&D strategies).

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Page reviewed: January 10, 2017