Under Australia's Export Control Act 2020, an Approved Export Program (AEP) for livestock export must only be carried out by an accredited veterinarian (AAV). Requirements for accreditation are defined under section 9-104 of the Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021.
To apply for accreditation as an AAV, a veterinarian must:
- be registered by a state/territory veterinary surgeons board in the state in which he/she is intending to conduct export work
- have successfully completed the Initial Accreditation Program for Australian Veterinarians (APAV) offered by Animal Health Australia
- have successfully completed the Animal Health Australia online AAVet course (this is separate to the APAV program).
Note: To be accredited to undertake shipboard work, the veterinarian must also be an Australian citizen.
To become an AAV and maintain accreditation a veterinarian must complete these steps:
1. Complete the Initial Accreditation Training Program of the Accreditation Program for Australian Veterinarians (APAV)
APAV is administered by Animal Health Australia and is the national program designed to integrate private veterinary practitioners into the national animal health system to support the international standing of Australia's animal health service capability.
The program aims to have an internationally recognised process for accrediting non-government veterinarians for involvement in government and industry animal disease programs.
To gain further information about the program, or to enrol in the online training program, visit the Animal Health Australia website.
2. Complete the AAVet Course
After you have successfully completed the APAV, you are eligible to complete the AAVet course.
The AAVet course is an online training course for veterinarians who wish to be accredited to do the veterinary tests, treatments and examinations for the pre-export component of livestock exporters’ Approved Export Program, or to accompany an export livestock voyage, also under an Approved Export Program.
The AAVet course is administered by Animal Health Australia. To enrol in the AAVet course, visit the Animal Health Australia website.
The AAVet course informs veterinarians involved in the export of livestock of their legislative responsibilities as an AAV working under a livestock exporter’s Approved Export Program. It also provides background information about the livestock export process, and veterinary procedures.
The course comprises eight modules that can be completed at your own pace. The course should take approximately six hours to complete; however, this will vary depending on your background and experience within the livestock export industry.
When you successfully complete the course you must pay a $250 course fee to Animal Health Australia and then you may apply to the Department of Agriculture, and Water and the Environment for accreditation as an AAV using the application form in section 3.
3. Forward to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment an Application for accreditation as an Accredited Veterinarian for livestock form
Complete and return the Application for accreditation as an Accredited Veterinarian for livestock to the Live Animal Export Branch national office.
The application form must be accompanied by:
- Proof of registration as a veterinarian in each State or Territory for which you wish to be accredited in the form of a certified copy of an official document of the relevant veterinary practitioners registration board(s).
- AAVet course completion certificate
- Evidence of payment for AAVet course.
If you are applying to undertake ship-board services, your application must include the signed citizenship declaration found in Section F of the application form.
Accreditation of a veterinarian is generally granted for 5 years from the date of the notice of accreditation, unless the accreditation is withdrawn earlier at the request of the veterinarian or revoked by the department. If you need to vary your accreditation, for example add additional states or territories, you must apply using the Application for accreditation as an Accredited Veterinarian for livestock to the Live Animal Export Branch national office.
4. Fees applied by the department for accreditation of an AAV
There is an application charge which the applicant must pay once the application has been approved.
Non-payment of any invoiced charges may result in withdrawal of services being provided to clients.
For full details of the live animal export charges, see the department’s charging guidelines.
5. Veterinary work required to be undertaken by an AAV
An exporter’s Approved Export Program (AEP) contains tasks which must be completed by an AAV to prepare livestock consignments for export. The tasks included in an AEP could involve preparation of animals before export or during an export voyage.
An AEP generally includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- treatment and testing procedures that must be completed by an AAV after the livestock enter pre-export isolation or quarantine
- treatment and testing specified by the importing country to be done by an AAV
- inspections of livestock to evaluate for signs of disease and fitness to travel.
All veterinarians working with livestock intended for export should receive a copy of the AEP from the exporter contracting them to undertake the work before commencing any treatments or procedures.
If the AAV is required to travel on-board with the export consignment, it is their responsibility to complete daily voyage reports and end of voyage reports, in accordance with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock. The LIVEXCollect Data Collection Tool is the form for providing these reports. The end of voyage report must be received within 5 working days of the end of the voyage. Further information can be found on the department’s website.
According to section 9-26 of the Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021, all AAVs are required to keep records in relation to activities undertaken as part of an AEP.
Animal Health Australia maintains a database of APAV accredited veterinarians' details to facilitate engagement of accredited veterinarians by governments or industries with responsibility for APAV operational programs. The APAV requires these agencies to conduct audits if the APAV veterinarians are employed in their programs.
The department may audit AAVs to evaluate compliance with the Export Control Act 2020, Export Control (Animals) Rules 2021 and subordinate legislation. Time based fees will be applied to any audits that are undertaken.
Legislation is available to download from the Federal Register of Legislation website.
Contacting an AAV
To contact an AAV for export purposes please email the department at Livestock Export.
All licenced livestock exporters have access to a list of AAVs and their contact details.