Wildlife Health Australia Incorporated (Wildlife Health Australia; WHA) is an initiative of the Australian government comprising a network of stakeholders across Australia with an interest in wildlife health. WHA evolved from the Australian Wildlife Health Network (AWHN) as the next step in the development of Australia’s wildlife health system.
In 2012, after ten years of operation it seemed timely to review the AWHN in preparation for it’s next ten years of activity. After consultation with key stakeholders and funding bodies a decision was made by the AWHN Management Group to re-brand and incorporate AWHN as a not-for-profit, separate legal entity under the New South Wales Incorporated Associations Act 2009. The association would be named WHA and would become the peak body for wildlife health in Australia. It would continue managing and growing programs already developed by AWHN, but its objectives and activities would be reviewed and better targeted to suit the needs of the country for its next ten years of operations. The core business activity would remain coordination of wildlife health surveillance information that can be used to improve decision making, management and policy development to protect Australia’s trade, human health, livestock health, biodiversity and tourism.
Funding is primarily from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture (DoA) through the Caring for Our Country (CFoC) program, with the understanding that, with other funding, WHA could also become more involved with biodiversity, human health and environmental issues.
This paper notifies the international wildlife community of the formation of WHA and presents WHA’s future priorities.