World Veterinary Day 2023: Strengthening engagement across Northern Australia

Beef Central, 28/04/2023

On World Veterinary Day 2023 we celebrate the diversity of veterinarians across Northern Australia as they work to protect the health of animals and the region’s biosecurity.

University of Adelaide Vet science students examining a patient at the Roseworthy Vet Health Centre, Roseworthy campus, the University of Adelaide.

The department is proud to be the largest public sector employer of vets in Australia, providing a variety of services in disease surveillance, food safety inspection, research, One Health and policy development.

Today provides an opportunity to acknowledge the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s increased focus on emergency animal disease prevention and preparedness in Northern Australia through strengthened engagement and strategic policy leadership.

This is being delivered by the Office of the Chief Veterinary Office – Northern Australia which has been established in Cairns and is led by Dr Beth Cookson, Australia’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer.

Dr Cookson’s role has a strategic focus on Northern Australia and strengthening relationships within the Indo-Pacific region, together with supporting the work of Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Mark Schipp.

“Over the past few years, we have seen the rapid spread of diseases like African swine fever and lumpy skin disease into our near region, as well as foot-and-mouth disease being detected for the first time in over 30 years in Indonesia. Our focus on biosecurity in Northern Australia has never been so important to protecting Australia from these diseases,” Dr Cookson said.

“Veterinarians employed in private, industry, government and non-government sectors across multiple jurisdictions have been working inclusively and collaboratively on our preparedness activities.”

Dr Cookson highlighted that the collective response demonstrated how valuable veterinary expertise is to protecting not only animal health, but human health, environmental health and the economy.

“The focus of our work provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with pastoralists, industry representatives, other government departments and First Nations communities across the Northern Australia region. With the team being based in Cairns and Darwin, we also play a significant role in bringing a regional perspective to issues of national importance,” Dr Cookson said.

“As we celebrate World Veterinary Day, I encourage those seeking a career in animal health and veterinary science to research all aspects of our profession given its truly diverse nature.

I also acknowledge and thank all veterinarians for their important contribution.”

The department recognises the importance of the theme for World Veterinary Day 2023 – Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness.

Source: DAFF: For more information about the Office of the Chief Veterinary Office – Northern Australia, please visit:


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  1. Dr+Sandra+Jephcott, 30/04/2023

    There are many great private veterinarians across northern Australia – Mt Isa based, Ian Braithwaite; Katherine based, Peter Trembath; Kununurra’s Peter Letchford who was awarded 2023 Bovine Practitioner of the Year at the Australian Cattle Veterinarian (ACV) conference in Darwin earlier this year; Toby Wass, wherever he is based now but previously owned theLongreach vet practice plus many more

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