Significant disease investigation program subsidies for pig producers and veterinarians

The Victorian Significant Disease Investigation (SDI) program aims to boost Victoria's capacity for the early detection of important and emergency diseases in livestock and wildlife by increasing the participation of veterinary practitioners and subsidising the cost of investigating significant diseases.

Subsidies available for livestock producers and veterinarians

Producer subsidies, previously only available to cattle, sheep, goat and pig producers, are now available to pig producers thanks to funding provided by the Victorian Swine Compensation Fund

A subsidy of up to $200 plus GST is available to the producer when they engage a veterinary practitioner to undertake a significant disease investigation.

This subsidy covers the veterinarian's consultation, disease investigation (for example, autopsy) and travel costs, excluding medications, and is provided in the form of a deduction from the practitioner's fee. The practitioner will then be reimbursed by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR). The subsidy is only applicable for significant disease investigations authorised by DEDJTR following application from a veterinarian.

Subsidies for veterinary practitioners are also available from DEDJTR for the initial field investigation, including clinical and post-mortem examination, laboratory testing and a follow-up investigation of significant disease events in livestock and free-living wildlife. Livestock includes ruminants, horses, pigs and poultry. Eligible veterinary practitioners are those in private veterinary practice, zoos or wildlife parks.

The subsidies available for veterinary practitioners are:

  • Undertaking and reporting the initial disease investigation to DEDJTR – $300 plus GST.
  • Undertaking and reporting a follow-up investigation to DEDJTR – $300 plus GST.
  • Laboratory testing costs – up to $500 (payable to the laboratory not the veterinary practitioner).

What is a significant disease?

DEDJTR veterinarians determine if a disease event is considered significant based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • an unusual or atypical manifestation of disease, including high morbidity, mortality and/or rate of spread, or
  • an initial investigation fails to establish a diagnosis, including when veterinary treatment does not produce the expected response, or
  • there are findings suggesting a possible effect on trade, public health, biodiversity or the viability of a farm, industry or region, excluding events where there is a genuine suspicion of an emergency animal disease.

Note: The SDI should include testing to rule out a notifiable disease

Where there is a genuine suspicion of an exotic or emergency animal disease, DEDJTR animal health staff will lead the disease investigation and there will be no cost to the producer for the investigation.

If you suspect an exotic or emergency animal disease, immediately contact your local DEDJTR Animal Health staff or the all-hours Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Procedure for undertaking significant disease investigations

Practitioners should seek authorisation from their local DEDJTR Veterinary Officer prior to, or at the time of, undertaking the field investigation. If the local veterinary officer cannot be contacted, authorisation may be sought from the DEDJTR Senior Veterinary Officer (for the practitioner's geographical region). Although it may be impractical to seek authorisation prior to or at the time of the on-farm investigation, authorisation for the investigation must be sought prior to the submission of laboratory samples.

If you are unsure who your local DEDJTR staff are, please telephone the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Laboratory testing

Specimens for laboratory testing must be submitted to either:

Veterinary Diagnostics Services, AgriBio

Main Loading Dock
5 Ring Rd, La Trobe University
Bundoora, Victoria 3083

Phone: (03) 9032 7515

or for pig investigations:

DEDJTR Pig Services Centre

1 Taylor St
Epsom Victoria 3551

Phone: (03) 5430 4569

Further information

For further information, contact your local DEDJTR animal health staff. If you are unsure who your local DEDJTR staff are, please telephone the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.

Page last updated: 29 Jan 2024