Private vets have an important role to play in emergency animal disease responses in Australia. However, a 2011 report into Australia’s preparedness for foot-and-mouth disease identified inconsistencies in employment and contractual conditions between state and territory jurisdictions which could act as a potential barrier to their engagement in an emergency.
In 2013, Animal Health Committee agreed to nationally consistent conditions and remuneration policy, developed by a working group involving representatives of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, state and territory governments, the Australian Veterinary Association as well as private veterinarians.
These arrangements allow private veterinarians to be directly engaged by state or territory governments as temporary or casual government employees, or as contractors at a nationally agreed remuneration rate.
Three policy documents were developed to assist private veterinarians and jurisdictions implement the new arrangements.
- National Guidance document on the Engagement of Private Veterinarians during an Emergency Animal Disease Response.
- Employment Conditions for Private Veterinarians Engaged as Employees during an Emergency Animal Disease Response.
- Contract for Engaging the Services of Private Veterinarians during an Emergency Animal Disease Response.
States and territories will integrate the national policy and with their respective policies and contracts, ensuring that private vets can be engaged efficiently and effectively if their assistance is required.
For further information see the Frequently Asked Questions.