Covid-19: Govt gives Australian veterinarians “essential services” designation

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Veterinary work has been added as an essential service during the Covid-19 outbreak, much to the relief of the Australian Veterinary Association.

Australia’s Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud gave the news on Friday that the Federal Government considered the role of veterinarians essential to the agricultural sector, and therefore to the nation’s food security but also in protecting companion animals and wildlife.

“The Federal Government has not put any restrictions on veterinarians other than the practice of social distancing and hygiene practices during the COVID-19 crisis.

“While confusion has arisen due to the closing of some state borders, those state governments have assured us that veterinarians are able to continue to operate across borders.”

AVA president Julia Crawford said the organisation was grateful to the minister and the Federal Government for the show of support. She said the AVA would continue to work with the Government to ensure the best outcomes for both human and animal health and welfare throughout the COVID-19 pandemic response.

The move followed a joint statement earlier in the month by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Veterinary Association (WVA) advocated for the absolute requirement that veterinarians worldwide be designated as essential service providers in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic. Numerous European countries, US States and New Zealand immediately formalised veterinary services as “essential”.

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