7 August 2013 - The senate committee’s report and all documents associated with the inquiry on the effectiveness of threatened species and ecological communities' protection is now available to download here>>.
Of particular interest in relation to wildlife disease is the following recommendation by the committee:
4.149 The committee recommends that the Threatened Species Scientific Committee considers listing 'wildlife disease' as an overarching key threatening process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.”
WHA (at the time called the Australian Wildlife Health Network) made a submission to the Inquiry, which is referred to in the ‘Disease’ section of the committee’s report (p90):
4.42 Several organisations raised the need for greater recognition of disease as a threatening process for many species.70 For example; the Australian Wildlife Health Network outlined some of the key diseases threatening native species:
The identification of chytridiomycosis, a disease of amphibians causing extinctions around the world and in Australia took 19 years; identification of Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour took 10 years – because of this disease there is a real threat that Tasmanian Devils may become extinct in the wild in the next 25 years. Psittacine beak and feather disease and chlamydiosis are two other diseases presenting decision making challenges to the good work of the Orange-bellied parrot recovery team and those working with Koalas.71
4.43 It was suggested that there is a need for increased focus on disease as a threatening process, including disease risk assessment and mitigation.72 The Australian Wildlife Health Network suggested that 'there is a need to invest in monitoring and increasing capacity for rapid response for wildlife diseases that impact upon biodiversity.’73 They called for better funding for wildlife disease management, as well as long term commitment to improved coordination and cross jurisdictional integration.74 ........”