Who we are
The Office of the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO) is a team of scientists and policy makers who support the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (ACVO), Dr Mark Schipp, in delivery of his roles and responsibilities.
The ACVO is the primary representative of, and advisor to, the Australian Government on all matters relating to the maintenance and improvement of Australia’s animal health status and the systems that support it. The ACVO also works to address major animal health issues of national interest, such as the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and enhancing trade and market access for animals and animal products.
What we do
The OCVO, in collaboration with the broader department and our external stakeholders, works to mitigate the risks and potential impacts of exotic animal diseases and enhance the protection of Australia’s animal health environment.
The overarching objective of the ACVO is to mitigate threats to the Australian economy, and the productivity of Australia’s animal-dependent industries, by supporting and enhancing trade and market access for animals and animal products, and representing the Australian Government on animal health issues of national interest.
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
Dr Mark Schipp is Australia’s Delegate to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Immediate Past President of the OIE World Assembly of Delegates. The OCVO coordinates Australia’s OIE work and draws on the expertise of other Australian government departments and agencies, industry bodies and other experts on the issues under consideration.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
Dr Mark Schipp leads Australian agriculture’s response to the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
At an international level, the department participates in several multilateral organisations and fora, like the Codex Alimentarius, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, to collaborate on global efforts to combat AMR.
At a national level, the department works with the Australian Government Department of Health and other agencies such as the Food Standards Australia New Zealand and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Reso urces, as part of a coordinated response to combatting AMR.
Australia’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy – 2020 and Beyond was published in March 2020. It was developed in collaboration with stakeholders from human and animal health, agriculture, food, and environment sectors. By expanding its scope to include all relevant sectors and with a greater focus on a broad range of antimicrobials (antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics), it aims to address the global threat of AMR through a One Health approach.
For more information go to the Australian Government’s AMR website.
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 18 – 24 November
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is celebrated from 18 – 24 November every year, and highlights that AMR is a global human and animal health threat. During this week, the department collaborates with AMR stakeholders to increase awareness and resources for combatting this issue.
2021: This year’s theme of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is, ‘Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance’, and calls on One Health stakeholders, policymakers, health care providers, and the general public to champion AMR awareness. For more information go to Antimicrobial resistance.
About Dr Mark Schipp
In 2011 Dr Schipp was appointed Chief Veterinary Officer of Australia.
He is Australia’s Delegate at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). He completed a successful three-year term as President of the OIE World Assembly in May 2021 and remains a member of the OIE Council until 2024.
Dr Schipp leads Australia’s national responses to emergency animal disease incursions. He works to strengthen the veterinary services of countries in our region so they are able to detect and respond to emerging infectious diseases of concern to both human and animal health.
Dr Schipp studied both Biology and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at Murdoch University, graduating in 1989. Since then he has been working to protect Australia from exotic disease incursions and seeking opportunities to expand market access for our livestock and animal products.
After graduation Dr Schipp joined the Western Australia Department of Agriculture as a District Veterinary Officer. He then worked in export abattoirs in Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania ensuring livestock presented for slaughter were healthy and the livestock products were suitable for export. Eventually he moved to Canberra to contribute to Australia’s export meat program at a national level.
Dr Schipp was posted overseas for six years—in Seoul, South Korea and then in Beijing, China where he opened the Agriculture Counsellor post at the Australian Embassy, Beijing and negotiated new market access for Australian agricultural products.
Dr Mark Schipp explains his role
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Transcript of Schipp's video
The Chief Veterinary Officer of Australia represents Australia nationally and internationally on veterinary issues, animal health, animal biosecurity, so I’m the delegate for Australia to the World Organisation for Animal Health and I’m also fortunate enough to sit on the Council of the World Organisation so I represent our region as well as our country.
Nationally I represent the department and the national position on animal health and veterinary issues. In the event of an emergency disease outbreak I chair the consultative committee on emergency animal diseases which brings together all of the state positions and the national position. We try and find a common position and bring that forward for decision and implementation.I deal with the universities, the veterinary deans, to talk about the needs for veterinary education in the country. I deal with Foreign Affairs and Trade on what are the aid needs in our region, in terms of veterinary science or public health and capacity building in our region. So it’s quite a varied role and one that draws on a range of skills, but I’m very fortunate to have a large group of experts that sit around me and support me.
Consider a career as an Australian Government Veterinarian
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is a significant employer of veterinarians in Australia. If you are interested in an exciting, challenging and rewarding career, we encourage you to consider the opportunities that the department can offer.