Victoria’s livestock industries are fortunate to be free of most of the serious diseases that affect animals in other parts of the world.
Despite this fact, on-going surveillance for new or exotic disease is important to protect our livestock, to reassure our trading partners of Victoria’s favourable disease status, and to ensure the early detection of diseases that might affect trade, public health, and farm or regional productivity.
Early detection of emerging or exotic disease is the key to their effective management and this relies on farmers, vets and government working together.
In the course of doing farm visits and treating livestock, veterinary practitioners must remain vigilant and consider the possibility of new, unusual or exotic diseases.
Agriculture Victoria has an initiative that allows veterinarians who investigate and report on outbreaks of unusual or significant animal disease to be paid a subsidy to help cover the cost of the investigation and associated laboratory fees.
The subsidy program increases the likelihood of early reporting of a serious animal disease and helps with costs associated with any subsequent investigation.
Payment of subsidies is conditional upon approval being given by Agriculture Victoria before the investigation begins.
This subsidy can be paid when:
• A large number of animals are affected or there is an unusual presentation of a disease
• An initial investigation fails to establish a diagnosis, or veterinary treatment does not produce the expected response
• Clinical signs are consistent with an emergency disease without a clear alternative diagnosis
• here is a possible effect on trade, public health or the viability of a farm, industry or region
When an exotic or emergency disease is suspected, Agriculture Victoria will undertake the disease investigation.