Wildlife Health Australia has five objectives:
- Facilitate and support collaboration and communication between those with an interest in wildlife health and improve knowledge of, and facilitate the development of solutions for, priority wildlife health questions and problems as identified by the community
- Facilitate improved, effective and efficient wildlife disease preparedness and response in Australia
- Lead national action on wildlife health to protect and enhance the natural environment, biodiversity, economy and animal and human health of response readiness for wildlife diseases
- Facilitate improved, effective and efficient wildlife health and disease surveillance and investigation in Australia that also satisfies international reporting requirements
- In collaboration with our members, contribute to, support and improve education and training in wildlife health.
Wildlife Health Australia focuses on nationally important and significant diseases and wildlife health issues which may impact upon Australia's natural environment. Emerging, exotic, zoonotic, ecologically and agriculturally significant diseases and issues are emphasised in the operations of WHA.
An important part of our work has been in providing support for Australia's states and territories, animal health industries, Australia's Chief Environmental Biosecurity Officer (CEBO) and 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 also 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 in a changing environment of disease emergence, international translocation of pathogens through travel or trade, climate change and new developments in industries including agriculture and tourism. In 2021 the Australian government will develop a new National Wildlife Health Strategy which will guide the future development of Australia's wildlife health system into the future.