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AVA and AVBC call for assistance for Afghan veterinary teams

Media release – updated 30th August 2021

Members of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) are calling on the Australian Government to assist Afghan veterinarians, veterinary paraprofessionals and their families in leaving Afghanistan and resettling in Australia.

“We are deeply distressed by the events currently unfolding in Afghanistan, and the serious risks to the safety of the Afghan people,” said AVA President Dr Warwick Vale and AVBC Chair Dr Peter Gibbs in a joint statement.

“We are highly concerned for the wellbeing of Afghan veterinary teams and their families. We call on the Australian government to provide all possible assistance to Afghan veterinarians, veterinary paraprofessionals and their families seeking to leave the country – especially those who have worked with western charities and non-government organisations whose safety may be at risk.”

Dr Julie Strous, Executive Director of AVBC said, “With appropriate visas, settled Afghanistan veterinarians would need support from Australian veterinarians to mentor and induct them into local practices -which incidentally are facing dire workforce shortages- prior to sitting the Australasian Veterinary Examination.”

“We stand ready to help our Afghan colleagues become part of the Australian veterinary community,” said AVA President, Dr Warwick Vale, “I encourage the local veterinary profession to provide the practical experience required for them to integrate into the Australian veterinary workforce.”

“The Afghan veterinary professionals have made a vital contribution to public health, animal health and welfare and we strongly support opportunities to help them settle in Australia and continue in their careers,” said AVA Head of Veterinary and Public Affairs, Dr Cristy Secombe.

For further information and requests for interviews, contact the AVA media office on 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health, and welfare.

Incorporated in 1999, the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council encourages co-operation among state, territory and New Zealand veterinary boards and offers accreditation and a range of assessments to ensure the quality (recognised nationally and internationally) of the Australian and New Zealand veterinary profession.