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,” AVA President Warwick Vale and AVBC Chair Peter Gibbs said 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.”
“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,” Julie Strous, Executive Director of AVBC said.
“We stand ready to help our Afghan colleagues become part of the Australian veterinary community,” AVA President Warwick Vale said. “I encourage the local veterinary profession to provide the practical experience required for them to integrate into the Australian veterinary workforce.”
“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,” AVA Head of Veterinary and Public Affairs, Cristy Secombe said.