WHA provides support to a Zoo Animal Health Reference Group (ZAHRG). The ZAHRG was established at the request of the Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (ACVO) to act as a link and catalyst to improve communication and coordination regarding issues of mutual concern for Australian zoos and governments. The focus is on surveillance and preparedness.
The group includes representatives of the CEOs, Directors and Executive Directors of the major Australian zoos, plus a small zoos representative. These representatives are usually the institution's senior veterinarian. The ACVO is represented by their OIE Wildlife Focal Point. The chair of the ZAA Vet SAG and the ZAA Executive Director are also represented. The group is currently chaired by the ZAA Regional Veterinary Officer, Andrea Reiss. WHA provides administrative and secretariat support.
The ZAHRG meets quarterly via teleconference with one annual face to face meeting. Current priorities include: review of the AUSVETPLAN Zoo Enterprise Manual; review of TSE post mortem guidelines to assist Animal Health Australia, and; use of vaccines by Australian zoos during emergencies, and as part of contingency planning.
In September 2014 members of the ZAHRG participated in advanced emergency animal disease preparedness and response training.
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Image Courtesy of Andrew Breed