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COVID-19 Border Crossing Update: Federal Minister David Littleproud announces "Veterinarians are classified as Essential Services"

Posted by VSS on 26 March 2020

Veterinarians are classified as essential services and will be able to cross state borders and continue working under shutdowns currently in operation in Australia, the agriculture minister David Littleproud has said.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and the RSPCA have lobbied the government to ensure that veterinary and animal welfare services are declared "essential" and exempt from pandemic-related shutdowns, as they have been in New Zealand.

In a submission sent to government on Sunday, the AVA said that shutting down veterinary services would impact not only animal health, welfare, and biosecurity, "but also to human health and mental wellbeing, food safety, and food supply chain integrity and continuity".

It said the AVA was willing and able to put in all necessary health and biosecurity controls.

In a statement to Guardian Australia, Littleproud said:

"Veterinarians provide essential services to the agricultural sector and the general public. The federal government has not placed any restrictions on their ability to operate. The only confusion that has been created has been from some states closing borders but they have assured us that vets will still have the ability to operate across borders."

VSS looks forward to further confirmation of the essential nature of the Veterinary industry should further restrictions on social activity be announced.

We are available as usual for all types of consultation or advice if you need it.

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