Simulation exercise: foot-and-mouth disease in Australia

28 August to 15 September 2023

Dr Mark Schipp, Delegate to WOAH and Australian Chief Veterinary Officer (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra, Australia) informed WOAH that a simulation exercise titled Exercise Milky Way, will be conducted in Australia from 28 August to 15 September 2023, using a foot-and-mouth disease scenario.

The exercise will be led by Animal Health Australia (AHA) and will involve government and relevant industry personnel.

AUSVETPLAN contains the nationally-agreed approach for the response to emergency animal disease incidents in Australia. The plan is captured in a series of manuals and supporting documents.

The aim of Exercise Milky Way is to test key components of the AUSVETPLAN Response strategy: Foot-and-mouth disease to ensure it is practical and fit for purpose when used in combination with jurisdictional requirements and legislation. This is a normal part of the AUSVETPLAN improvement process (i.e., exercises on recently published AUSVETPLAN manuals are regularly held with government and industry personnel to ensure that the manuals will work effectively in the event of an outbreak).

The key objectives of Exercise Milky Way are to:

  • validate the movement controls, including the movement control matrix from the AUSVETPLAN Response strategy: Foot-and-mouth disease and the supporting logic matrix, for raw milk movements during a foot-and-mouth disease response.
  • enhance the raw milk movement control sections of the AUSVETPLAN Response strategy: Foot-and-mouth disease, or the raw milk logic matrix, as appropriate, following consideration of exercise outcomes.

This will be a multi-session virtual-based discussion exercise held over a 3 week period.

For further information about the exercise, please contact [email protected]

World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department (WAHIAD), World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), [email protected].