Strategic Objectives 2016-17 to 2017-18
Wildlife Health Australia has six strategic objectives for 2016-17 to 2017-18:
- Improve Australia’s overall national surveillance capability to support the protection of Australia's natural environment
- Ensure early detection of significant health and disease events involving wildlife
- Maintenance of response readiness for wildlife diseases
- Improved ability to manage and respond to wildlife health and disease events
- Improved knowledge of priority questions of wildlife health and diseases as identified by stakeholders and partners
- Improved understanding of the risks posed to Australia by wildlife diseases.
Wildlife Health Australia focuses on nationally important and significant diseases with wildlife as part of their ecology, which may impact upon Australia's natural environment. Emerging, exotic, zoonotic, ecologically and agriculturally significant diseases are emphasised in the operations of WHA. Diseases with feral animals as part of their ecology and those that impact upon biodiversity and natural ecosystems are a high priority.
An important part of our work has been in providing support for Australia's states and territories, animal health industries and Australia's Chief Veterinary Officer (ACVO). At the direction of the ACVO, WHA now provides Australia's World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Wildlife Focal Point. WHA also continues to assist Australia’s states and territories in administering Australia’s general wildlife health information system and provides Australia's representative to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Veterinary Specialists Group.
A future challenge for WHA is in continuing to grow and develop surveillance capacity, particularly in a changing climate of disease emergence, international translocation of pathogens through travel or trade, and new developments in industries including agriculture and tourism.