Australia has a comprehensive system of capabilities and functions to prepare, detect and respond to health security threats. Strong cooperative links and coordination mechanisms exist between the human (public health) and animal arms of the health system in Australia. Wildlife is included in this system. Recent reviews of both the animal and human health sectors have highlighted Australia’s relative strengths in the detection and management of emerging zoonotic diseases. However, the risks to Australia posed by diseases with wildlife as part of their epidemiology will almost certainly become greater with changing land use and climate change and as societal attitudes bring wildlife, livestock and people into closer contact. These risks are not isolated to Australia but are global. A greater emphasis on wildlife disease surveillance to assist in the detection of emerging infectious diseases and integration of wildlife health into One Health policy will be critical in better preparing Australia and other countries in their efforts to recognize and manage the adverse impacts of zoonotic diseases on human health. Animal and human health practitioners are encouraged to consider wildlife in their day to day activities and to learn more about Australia’s system and how they can become more involved by visiting www.wildlifeheathaustralia.com.au.
Woods, R., Reiss, A., Cox-Witton, K., Grillo, T., & Peters, A. (2019). The importance of wildlife disease monitoring as part of the global surveillance for zoonotic diseases: The role of Australia. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 4(1), 1-7. . https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010029