The Australian Government has launched One Health, an $8.4 millioninitiative designed to boost Australia’s wildlife disease surveillance,investigation, and diagnostic activities.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the Department ofHealth has partnered with Wildlife Health Australia to deliver the initiativeto strengthen our ability to prevent, detect, and respond to emergingdiseases, including those with pandemic potential.

Dr. Mark Schipp, Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, said One Health haspositioned Australia at the forefront of global efforts to prevent and detectfuture pandemic spill over events from wildlife.

“The initiative will also support early identification of threats toAustralia’s domestic animals and livestock industries, as exotic diseases suchas African swine fever (ASF) and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) would involveferal animals in their emergence and spread.”

Emerging pathogens from wildlife are growing in significance as free-rangingwildlife populations become increasingly urbanised, resulting in greateroverlap of usage of the environment, and closer direct and indirect contactwith humans and domestic animals.

Dr. Rupert Woods, CEO of Wildlife Health Australia, said Wildlife HealthAustralia’s wildlife disease surveillance work would be strengthened by thisinitiative.

“This new program enhances our investigation of wildlife disease events, whichis key to providing early warning of emerging disease risks in Australia, andprotecting our native wildlife and ecosystems is critical to pandemicprevention.”

Tagged: Australian Wildlife, Disease Control, One Health

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