The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is calling on the next FederalGovernment to cover costs of essential veterinary care in disasterresponses.

Sixty per cent of veterinary practices in Qld and NSW flood-affected areaswere recently forced to close, half of those for five days or more.

Dr Cristy Secombe, Head of Veterinary and Public Affairs at the AVA, said vetsin the affected areas have been using their own money to cover the costs ofessential veterinary care.

“Vets should not be having to dig so deeply into their own pockets or set upGo-Fund-Me pages to cover these essential animal care costs. There should be anational framework for vets to access government support quickly to provideessential animal care to those in need.

“In the long term, the drain of high amounts of ‘in kind’ labour is leading tolow pay for veterinary professionals and workforce shortages – making itharder for everyone to find a vet.”

Dr Secombe said this was an all too familiar situation, after experiencing itwith the 2020/21 bushfires and previous floods.

“The community rightly has an expectation that these animals are cared for,and the government has a responsibility to step in with assistance.”

The AVA recently launched a federal election platform highlighting keyrecommendations, including the development of a mechanism to allow consistentveterinary services delivered in natural disasters to unowned animals,including wildlife.

Tagged: Australian Veterinary Association, Disaster Response

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