Emergency Disease Preparedness and Response

​​The Animal Health Policy Branch conducts activities that contribute to Australia’s emergency aquatic animal disease preparedness and response capabilities.

Emergency Preparedness

AQUAVETPLAN is the Australian Aquatic Veterinary Emergency Plan. It is a series of manuals that outline Australia’s approach to national disease preparedness, and proposes the technical response and control strategies to be activated in a national aquatic animal disease emergency. All manuals are available for free download from the AQUAVETPLAN section of this website.

AQUAVETPLAN comprises disease strategy manuals, operational procedures manuals, a control centres manual, and an enterprise manual. The Animal Health Policy Branch coordinates the development and ongoing maintenance of these manuals.

Simulation exercises are a valuable way to enhance Australia’s preparedness and response to emergency aquatic animal disease incidents. The Animal Health Policy Branch supports simulation exercises in conjunction with state and territory governments and industry.

Emergency Response

The Aquatic Consultative Committee on Emergency Animal Disease (AqCCEAD) coordinates Australia’s national technical response to emergency aquatic animal disease events.

AqCCEAD is responsible for determining the nature, extent and significance of a suspected disease event in aquatic animals in Australia. The committee provides advice on appropriate responses to aquatic animal disease emergencies, while ensuring Australia fulfils international and domestic policy and legal obligations.

Aquatic Animal Disease Incidents

When a disease incident occurs, Australia’s response arrangements may be activated to minimise their potential impacts on aquaculture, fisheries resources or the environment. Some recent disease incidents of significance are explained here.​