EMERGENCY animal diseases, zoonotic disease outbreaks and even post-mortems were on the agenda when two agencies joined forces in Tamworth this week.
In a first for the region, North West Local Land Services and the Australian Veterinarian Association (AVA) regional branch got together for a seminar that brought national veterinary experts to town.
The aim of Wednesday’s seminar was to help vets diagnose and act on conditions with significant economic, social or human health implications.
Foot-and-mouth disease, lyssavirus, Hendra and Q fever were all under the microscope.
The seminar covered how to recognise, investigate and report notifiable and emergency animal diseases, as well as One Health conditions – those with crossovers between humans, animals and the environment.
It even featured a speaker from Hunter New England Health, whose topic was studies on human-animal communicable disease outbreaks.
An AVA function was held after the seminar, with after-dinner speakers on lessons learnt from animal post-mortems, and exotic diseases in the Middle East.
North West LLS funded the seminar, recognising the role of private vets in the early reporting and management of emergency animal diseases and One Health issues.
District veterinarian Shaun Slattery said the seminar was about “knowledge-sharing and -building”.
“For us to do emergency animal disease and One Health properly, it’s got to be a partnership between private veterinarians and the government system,” Mr Slattery said.
Narrabri Veterinary Clinic’s Michael Read said he attended the seminar to gain a broader picture than when private vets “get wrapped up in our day-to-day vet work”.
He said private and government vets in the region worked well together.
“There’s been a lot of information shared over the years and we see it from different sides,” he said.
“We can very quickly discuss [any] concerns, and sometimes we’re seeing things they’re not as well.
“If I’ve got a client ring up with an odd case of an illness or death, when I’m talking to [the LLS] I can pick up if there are other reports in the area, what have they been seeing?”
- Animal producers who suspect an unusual disease or condition in their livestock should call LLS, their own vet, or the national Emergency Disease Hotline after-hours on 1800 675 888.