Enhancing passive surveillance in NSW 

Australia has a favourable animal health status, which underpins the ‘clean and green’ image of our animal industries and supports our competitive advantage in international markets. However, trading partners and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are continually calling for more robust evidence in support of country disease freedom claims.

While currently free of several significant EADs including African swine fever, African horse sickness, lumpy skin disease, foot and mouth disease and avian influenza; occurrences of these diseases in Australia would have a devastating impact on livestock industries, animal welfare and international trade with significant socio-economic consequences for our community.

About the enhancing passive surveillance in NSW project

The NSW Department of Primary Industries is leading a project to better understand Government (District) Veterinarians (DVs) and Private Veterinary Practitioners (PVPs) thoughts and actions around livestock disease surveillance, emergency animal disease (EAD inclusion based on clinical signs/examination and diagnostics, and how current education and training opportunities may be impacting this.

The NSW animal health surveillance system (the System) provides evidence to support stakeholder confidence in the EAD ‘free’ status of NSW and Australia. Passive surveillance is the main tool to support early and rapid EAD detection to facilitate control and minimise the impact of an EAD in the event of an incursion.

However, the System must be enhanced in order to meet the challenge of ongoing and increasing animal health threats to Australia. Several EADs have been increasing in incidence and/or geographical distribution towards Australia’s borders over the past three years.

This project aims to boost passive surveillance for EADs in NSW using a syndromic and diagnostic approach. This will increase the evidence base for the absence (or presence and prevalence) of EADs in NSW and Australia and the sensitivity of early detection of EADs in NSW terrestrial livestock.

Effective Passive Surveillance relies on the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders who are part of a reporting network, to collect data on disease incidence or adverse effects of medicines. There is no active search for cases, it involves passive notification by surveillance sites, with reports generated and collated in a common repository which builds on an evidence base.

The outcomes of this survey and the broader project will be used to develop a framework to support PVPs and DVs to increase awareness, exclusion sampling and testing of cases with clinical syndromes consistent with priority EADs for Australia.

Online survey

If your work involves livestock health management, whether they are production animals or pets, we’re keen to understand what’s important to you when thinking about protecting Australia’s livestock industries from pests and diseases, like emergency animal diseases (EADs).

Your views are important to us, and your answers will be kept in the strictest confidence, with responses aggregated and used for statistical purposes only.

  • Click here to take the survey
  • Click here to view the 2022 Online survey Participant Information Statement

The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete and closes at 11.59 pm on 25 April 2022.