Many veterinarians, veterinary students and veterinary staff have been affected by the devastating bushfires in NSW and a number of services are available to provide support including:
- Doctors’ Health Advisory Service (02) 9437 6552
- AVA Counselling Service 1300 687 327
- Lifeline 131 114
- Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
The response to this crisis has been heartwarming with many veterinarians from Australia and overseas expressing an interest to assist animals, colleagues and members of the public affected by these bushfires.
For those wishing to assist:
- Veterinarians and veterinary nurses volunteering their time and skills to care for animals affected by the bushfires should apply through the AVERT program operated by Vets Beyond Borders.
- There is no registration requirement for veterinary nurses in NSW.
- Veterinarians with general (full) or specialist registration in any State or Territory of Australia are able to volunteer to provide veterinary services in NSW under National Recognition of Veterinary Registration. There is no requirement for these veterinarians to register in NSW whilst their principal place of residence remains outside NSW.
- Veterinarians based overseas who are eligible for full or specialist registration in NSW must apply for registration in NSW in order to provide veterinary services in NSW. The Board will waive the registration fee for any veterinarians wishing to provide veterinary services for up to one month in NSW as a volunteer. The registration application fee ($140) still applies (unless this is a restoration to the Register) and the veterinarian must volunteer their services through the AVERT program to facilitate coordination of this assistance.
- The AVA has developed a number of resources to assist veterinarians treating animals affected by the bushfires.
- The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science has created a temporary Bushfire Wildlife Emergency Advice Hotline 0408 937 046 (24 hours) to provide advice for veterinarians and wildlife carers.
- The University of Sydney Koala Health Hub fact sheets.
The emergency response in NSW is coordinated by NSW Department of Primary Industries, Agriculture and Animal Services Functional Area (AASFA) which works with Local Land Services (LLS) to support the NSW Rural Fire Service. AVERT have an arrangement with the AASFA and are on stand-by to assist.