The Tasmanian Division of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is pressing the Liberal state government—who under Premier Will Hodgman won the election on the weekend—to commit to more vets on farms in order to enhance animal disease surveillance.
AVA president Dr Paula Parker said that it’s critical to have veterinarians on farms, especially in rural parts of Tasmania, to enhance biosecurity and disease surveillance and keep Tasmania’s animal industries, healthy, productive and profitable.
“Over the last 20 years, resourcing of government veterinary positions has decreased leaving gaps in the ability of the public sector to deliver biosecurity surveillance data and placing more reliance on private veterinarians to fill these gaps,” Dr Parker said.
“We are urging the government to not only recognise the value of veterinarians on farms but also the risks involved by increasingly depending on private veterinarians to provide animal disease surveillance data.”
Veterinarians identify, diagnose, treat and prevent disease in animals every day. The concern is that having fewer veterinarians on farms in Tasmania could leave them vulnerable to a range of biosecurity and animal disease threats.
Dr Parker said that while biosecurity is a shared responsibility, a formal partnership framework needs to be implemented to provide greater support and assistance in this area.
“That assistance includes enhanced information systems and easy access to laboratory services with sufficient government veterinary staff to analyse data and develop appropriate responses and policies.”
Based on a media release sourced from the AVA website.