Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Real-time Training Program

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources logo

Australian Chief Veterinary Officer
Emergency Animal Disease Advisory Group
Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Real-time Training Program


RECOMMENDATION


1. That the Advisory Group:
a) NOTES the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the Department) has an
agreement with the European Commission for the Control of Foot and Mouth Disease
(EuFMD) to deliver four additional real-time training courses for Australians in Nepal in
2016;


b) NOTES the Department is conducting a merit based selection process to appoint
participants for 10 Commonwealth-funded placements. The funding includes in-country
costs (training materials, meals, accommodation, transfers, personal protective equipment
and disinfectants). All other expenses, including airfares, travel and medical insurance, are
the responsibility of the nominating organisation;


c) AGREES to provide online nominations (including a statement from individuals based on
the criteria in this paper, see Attachment A) for the positions funded by the Department,
by close of business Friday 29 January 2016, through the following link:
https://kellymaher.wufoo.com/forms/riuevut14kk3zc.


BACKGROUND


2. The FMD real-time training program in Nepal was implemented in 2012 to improve Australia’s
early detection and response capacity for an outbreak of FMD. The program provides an
opportunity for Australian veterinarians and stock handlers to recognise, report, and
investigate first-hand, an outbreak of FMD.


3. The agreement is cost-shared between the Department, certain state jurisdictions and industry
bodies, and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries.


4. To date, 152 Australians have participated in the training. Around 40 more will participate in
2016.


DISCUSSION


5. Two courses were postponed in May 2015 because of the earthquake in Nepal. These courses
were rescheduled for December 2015.


6. Safety of trainees and trainers is the program’s highest priority. The Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade (DFAT) are advising travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Nepal
although certain districts (including those affected by the 2015 earthquakes) are rated as a
higher risk. This grading is consistent with DFAT’s advice for travellers to Nepal prior to the
earthquakes. Trainees will not visit areas rated by DFAT as ‘reconsider your need to travel’ or
higher as part of the training program.


7. It is a mandatory requirement that all participants purchase travel insurance to cover their
visit. Trainees are covered by the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Non-staff Traveller
insurance policy for the duration of the course however this does not include helicopter
evacuation or liability for lost travel costs.


8. Certain state jurisdictions and industry bodies have elected to purchase course positions in
addition to the 10 being provided by the Department. These organisations will provide
nominations for their fully-funded candidates through a separate process. They may also
nominate additional candidates for places part-funded by the Department.


9. Training courses will continue to be delivered in two streams – epidemiology and clinical – to
target the background of trainees. Members of both streams work together throughout the
course, and there are opportunities for cross learning between the two groups.


10. Nominations for the epidemiological team should include those with a reasonable level of
veterinary, FMD, or epidemiological knowledge. This group should include veterinary or
technical staff that would be expected to undertake early suspect FMD investigations and have
a role undertaking (or coordinating) field epidemiological investigations and response
measures, such as from a Local Control Centre during an emergency animal disease response
in Australia. The focus of this training is to undertake field epidemiological investigations and
to develop advice on local response measures during the real time training program.


11. Nominations for the clinical team should include those who actively work in the field (e.g.
farms, feedlots, livestock markets and abattoirs) and see large numbers of livestock as part of
their work. The focus of this training will be FMD lesion recognition, as well as developing skills
in lesion ageing and sampling capabilities.


12. Raising general awareness of FMD is an important objective of these courses, and the
Department expects that participants will share their learning with other stakeholders (e.g.
producers, veterinarians, veterinary students, government officials, or industry bodies) after
the course. Nominees will be evaluated on their proposed extension activities. Activities may
include, but are not limited to, print media and radio interviews, presentations and training
courses, distribution of the course report, informal discussions with stakeholders,
development of posters and other materials.


13. Biosecurity precautions are undertaken during and after the course, including:
a) the use of personal protective equipment during visits to infected premises and the
disinfection of all relevant clothing and equipment;


b) notification of the flight details of returning participants to Departmental staff at Australian
airports; and


c) Participants signing a declaration requiring them not to enter any premises where there
are FMD susceptible livestock for a period of seven days from the finish of the training
course.


Prepared by Kelly Maher – Animal Health Policy Branch, Department of Agriculture and Water
Resources
3 December 2015
Cleared by Robyn Martin – Assistant Secretary, Animal Health Policy Branch, Department of
Agriculture and Water Resources
3 December 2015

 

 

Attachment A: Selection criteria

Selection criteria for Departmental funded places on FMD real time training courses
Nominating organisations are required to upload a brief written statement from candidates
addressing the selection criteria below. The statement must be less than 750 words in total.
Selection criteria for candidates


1. Career summary.


2. Experience in conducting formal or informal extension activities (e.g. delivering
presentations, workshops, development of communications material, media interviews
etc.)


3. Brief explanation of proposed extension activities the candidate may undertake to raise
awareness of FMD following the course.


4. Relevant training and experience in emergency management, emergency animal disease
preparedness and response, animal health education and training, and/or membership of
professional organisations.

Applications can be submitted at https://kellymaher.wufoo.com/forms/riuevut14kk3zc by close of
business Friday 29 January 2016.

 

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