In doing this, WHA coordinates and collaborates with many stakeholders that undertake surveillance of wildlife health, through partnerships with over 45 government and non-government agencies including environment, health and biosecurity agencies, zoo-based hospitals, sentinel veterinary and university clinics and pathology departments.
During health and disease incidents involving wildlife, our role is one of communication, coordination, linkage and providing technical information to assist response agencies and stakeholders.
Wildlife can also act as indicators of environmental health where other factors are at play, such as toxins or chemical contamination. In monitoring wildlife health, WHA also indirectly monitors the health of ecosystems, domestic animals, people and communities.
The presence or absence of disease in animals can impact Australia’s trade-status with overseas partners. To avoid potentially devastating trade shocks, we need to understand the potential for disease to be transmitted across species and how to prevent exposure of domestic animals to the risks.
The challenges of sustaining healthy wildlife in Australia is becoming greater with changing land use, climate change and as societal practices bring wildlife, livestock and people into closer contact.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial for Wildlife Health Australia to provide coordinated national action to support healthy wildlife.