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Gold star for Australia’s animal health

Beef Central, 18/11/2015

Australia’s veterinary services have impressed international evaluators, according to Australia’s Chief Veterinarian, Mark Schipp.

“The World Organisation for Animal Health Performance of Veterinary Services (OIE PVS) evaluation team recently completed a three week on the ground assessment of our animal health systems,” Dr Schipp said.

“From preliminary indications, Australia has performed to a very high level, which should prove valuable in enhancing our already strong sanitary reputation as a trading partner and exporter of animals and animal products.

“The focus of the PVS is to work with countries to identify their animal health system’s strengths and weaknesses, based on an established, internationally standardised tool, using the benefit of global experience provided by the OIE experts.

“The PVS evaluators were particularly impressed with Australia’s leadership amongst peers in participating in this global exercise.

“They noted the widespread understanding of the importance of biosecurity to the nation—so important to our sanitary status and economic reliance on and access to high value export markets.

“They were also impressed by how effectively we work together through partnerships between governments and industries to deliver animal health outcomes.

“Whilst around 130 countries have been evaluated since its inception, Australia is one of the first advanced countries to invite external PVS evaluation.

The expert OIE PVS team’s evaluation of the Australian animal health system involved a thorough desktop review, meetings in Canberra and then visits to all states and territories covering 61 field sites.

These sites included state and territory animal health offices, live export facilities, airports and seaports, post entry quarantine stations, industry groups, district vet offices (or equivalents), private veterinary practices, livestock farms, saleyards, export and domestic abattoirs, veterinary laboratories, veterinary schools, veterinary boards, and veterinary pharmaceutical companies.

Detailed findings will be provided to Dr Schipp and his state and territory counterparts in the form of a peer-reviewed OIE PVS evaluation report, expected in the first half of 2016.

The findings will be used to validate Australia’s animal health system based on international standards, as well as enhance awareness of areas that could benefit from further focused attention and investment.

Source: Department of Agriculture

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