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Protection of Animal Health Remains Top Priority

by 5m Editor
3 April 2009, at 8:37am

AUSTRALIA - The Minister says that improvements to New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI)'s field veterinary services will enhance animal health across the state's valuable livestock industries.

Improvements to NSW DPI's field veterinary services will enhance animal health across the State's valuable livestock industries, Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, has said.

Minister Macdonald said following the creation of the new Livestock Health and Pest Authorities (LHPA), the changes were necessary for the DPI's related field vet services.

"The effective management of animal health and biosecurity is of paramount important to the State Government, and the industries we provide these services to," he said.

"That's why we have decided to use the creation of the new LHPAs to reinvigorate the veterinary network within the Department of Primary Industries. This network will work in close conjunction with the new authorities."

NSW Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Bruce Christie, said the changes include creation of Regional Veterinary Officer and Veterinary Officers that work in regions that align with the new authorities.

"These positions replace Senior Regional Animal Health Managers and Regional Animal Health Leaders," Dr Christie said.

"NSW DPI veterinary staff and the authorities have traditionally worked hand in hand, and these role changes will help continue this close working relationship.

"Key aspects of their roles will continue to include: surveillance for exotic and endemic notifiable diseases, regulatory health issues such as NLIS, exotic disease preparedness and response, residue and formal disease control programs, and certification for export and interstate movements.

"As we saw in the equine influenza outbreak, our team of veterinary experts play a key role in identifying and responding to disease outbreaks.

"Their efforts need to be supported by appropriate organisation structures which these changes represent, as well as first class facilities at Camden's biosecurity hub at Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute."