4 JAN 2022 9:14 AM AEDT

The Hon David Littleproud MP

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia

​​​​• Estimated 1.7 million undiscovered viruses in mammal and bird hosts.

  • Many exist in wildlife and feral animal species and are evolving into different variants which pose an unknown level of risk to humans, animals, and our ecosystems.
  • $8.4 million program to address these potential risks.

"Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud today (3 January 2022) announced a significant new initiative aimed at bolstering Australia’s wildlife health and early warning capabilities.

Minister Littleproud said the Australian Government would invest $8.4 million over the next four years towards preventing, detecting, and mitigating the impacts of emerging animal diseases, including those with pandemic potential.

“COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus the importance of recognising and managing emerging zoonotic disease risks which can originate from wildlife,” Minister Littleproud said.

“That’s why we are taking a ‘true One Health’ approach, that recognises the interdependencies of human, animal, and environmental health, which is essential to preventing future pandemics.

“This program positions Australia as a world leader of the global transformational change agenda aimed at preventing future disease risks emerging from the human-animal-environmental interface. ... "