The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is calling on state andterritory governments to implement the national cabinet guidelines to allowveterinary teams flexibility in managing close contacts.

In the states most affected by Omicron, 87 per cent of veterinary practiceshave experienced shortages with a quarter having to close for periods andanother 31 per cent having to reduce hours.

These impacts are making it increasingly difficult for owners to getveterinary appointments for their pets and is placing veterinary staff under alarge amount of stress.

Dr. Cristy Secombe, AVA Head of Veterinary and Public Affairs, saidveterinarians are highly trained in infection control, understand emergencydisease responses and that they are well positioned to be able to manage therisk associated with asymptomatic close contacts of Covid-19.

“To allow veterinarians to provide veterinary care for all animals includingpets we implore the state governments to urgently modify public health ordersand reflect the guidance provided by national cabinet in recognition that allveterinary services are highly impacted.

“Covid-19 has worsened the pre-existing skills shortage within the veterinaryprofession and it’s now getting to the point that some small animalemergencies cannot be treated.”

Currently an average of 14 per cent of veterinary teams are quarantining dueto being infected with Covid, while 26 per cent are quarantining as closecontacts and could return to work under the current national cabinetguidelines.

Tagged: Australian Veterinary Association, covid-19

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