Animal Health Australia (AHA) is a not-for-profit public company that facilitates innovative partnerships between governments, major livestock industries and other stakeholders to protect animal health and the sustainability of Australia’s livestock industry.
AHA works in partnership with our Members and other stakeholders to keep Australia free of new and emerging diseases and to improve animal health, enhance market access and foster the resilience and integrity of the Australian animal health system.
A crucial function that AHA provides is to be a conduit which facilitates trust and cooperation between industry and government on animal health matters. The AHA model supports negotiation and discussions between parties to generate sustainable change whilst also maintaining goodwill. AHA allows members to share ideas, develop joint positions and policy and provides a forum for different perspectives that an result in a common voice.
AHA’s collaborative programs improve animal and human health, biosecurity*, food safety and quality, market access, animal welfare and livestock productivity.
*Biosecurity is the management of risks to the economy, environment and the community, of pests and diseases entering, emerging, establishing or spreading. Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity is an agreement between the Commonwealth, state and territory governments (with the exception of Tasmania) and provides a national framework on biosecurity. It came into effect in January 2012. AHA’s role in the biosecurity continuum is focussed post-border.
A resilient Australian animal health system through effective partnerships, known for its integrity, and recognised nationally and internationally.
To assist our Members and partners to enhance, strengthen and protect animal health and the sustainability of Australia’s livestock industries.**
**For AHA purposes; livestock are animals kept for use or profit including any class of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses (including mules and donkeys), poultry, emus, ostrich, alpaca, deer, camel or buffalo, and farmed aquatic species.
As a service and Member-oriented enterprise, AHA strives to make a difference by modelling five key behaviours:
- Innovation and excellence
- Leadership through collaboration
- Integrity, commitment and accountability
- Embracing diversity of people, views and ideas
- Commitment to our people
Animal Health Australia (AHA) was incorporated under Australian Corporations Law in January 1996.
At 30 June 2015, we had 32 member organisations spread across four membership groups:
- Commonwealth, state and territory governments
- industry organisations
- service delivery and non-program participants
- associate members.
Within the framework of a not-for-profit company, AHA manages more than 50 national programs that improve animal and associated human health, biosecurity, market access, livestock welfare, productivity, and food safety and quality.
Our company structure facilitates flexible and responsive management of animal health issues and accountability through an independently selected Board of Directors responsible to our members.
AHA is dedicated to advancing livestock health issues of collective interest to all who contribute to animal health in Australia. We manage national animal health programs for all, as well as some programs for a subset of members.
AHA’s members play a key role in the development and implementation of all programs. This collaborative approach is a major factor behind the success of AHA programs, and further strengthening of partnerships between government and industry bodies is an ongoing priority.
Members fund core company activities through annual subscriptions based on the gross value of production (GVP) of the jurisdiction or industry.
AHA is led by an independently selected Board of Directors responsible to our members and staffed by a dedicated team working in AHA’s Canberra office.
Read AHA’s Constitution.
Background to the company
Australia has enjoyed a reputation for clean, healthy and disease-free agricultural production systems through our natural advantage of geographic isolation. This has also given Australian producers an edge in a very competitive international environment.
From the early 1990s, our international trading partners began to require more information and evidence of Australia’s animal health and welfare standards.
Australian governments and industry groups recognised a need for high-level decisions on strategic policy for future planning and funding of national animal health service programs. Australian Animal Health Council Limited was incorporated under Australian Corporations Law in January 1996 and commenced operation under the business name ‘Animal Health Australia’ (AHA) in February 2000.
AHA’s role in the national animal health system has expanded significantly over the years, with the number of programs and projects the company is responsible for growing substantially.
- Read our latest annual report for a description of the AHA’s activities over the past 12 months.