The Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer

Who we are

The Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer (OCVO) is led by Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, supported by scientists and policy makers who work to ensure the protection and enhancement of Australia’s animal health environment.

Located within the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), OCVO facilitates the development of national policies and strategies and the provision of scientific advice to minimise the potential impacts of diseases on Australia’s animal population.

OCVO is also responsible for supporting and enhancing trade and market access for animals and animal products.

We liaise with public health, environmental and veterinary experts and agencies to advocate cooperation between animal, human and environmental health fields.

OCVO’s work is critical to Australia’s biosecurity system by protecting the health of our animals, people and environment from the problems of animal pests and diseases.

What we do

OCVO’s scientists and policy makers focus on:

Supporting and enhancing Australia’s high animal health status

OCVO leads the delivery of national animal health policy and programs to support Australia’s animal health status claims. We provide technical analysis and scientific advice to further support these claims, as well as undertake activities to strengthen our animal disease prevention, preparedness and response capabilities.

Providing the national and international focal point for Australia’s animal health status and systems

OCVO provides the official declaration to support Australia’s claims regarding its disease status to meet our international reporting obligations and to ensure Australia’s export reputation.

Through Australia’s membership of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), OCVO aims to influence the global animal health agenda to align it with Australia’s biosecurity and trade objectives. We also provide leadership and strategic direction on national animal health policy issues, working with all levels of government, agencies, industries and other stakeholders on animal health issues of national significance. In addition, OCVO provides advice to Australian stakeholders (including Australian certification authorities) on Australia’s animal health status (including for export and quarantine purposes).

Strengthening Australia’s animal disease preparedness and response

In an emergency animal disease outbreak, OCVO leads and manages the national emergency response, and provides epidemiological advice for disease control and recovery strategies.

We also provide scientific and policy advice to strengthen Australia’s animal disease prevention, preparedness and response capabilities. This extends to anticipating, identifying and analysing potential threats to Australia’s animal health to help identify and respond to emerging issues before they become critical, minimising the potential for trade disruptions due to an emergency animal disease outbreak.

Building capacity off-shore to manage risks to Australia’s high animal health status

OCVO seeks opportunities to partner with organisations such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, AusAID, the OIE and overseas government animal health agencies to carry out animal health capacity building projects in target regions to protect Australia’s biosecurity status. Capacity building projects help countries in the region, especially near neighbours, to manage animal diseases at the source, reducing the risk to Australia. These activities also strengthen our off-shore intelligence, including the ability to scan the horizon for new and emerging threats to Australia’s animal health status.

Consider a career as an Australian Government Veterinarian

DAFF is Australia’s largest employer of veterinarians. If you are interested in an exciting, challenging and rewarding career, we encourage you to consider the opportunities that DAFF can offer.

Find out more about becoming an Australian Government veterinarian

Contact details

To contact the OCVO please call +61 2 6272 5512 or email the OCVO.