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Photo supplied by David King


Photo supplied by David King

The purposes of the association are:

  1.  To provide a focus and benefit for, and collaborate with, a range of stakeholder groups to promote safer practices at incidents involving domestic animals. To advance practices and knowledge in all aspects of incident management involving animals, including research, policy, education, planning, safety, and practices to improve animal welfare outcomes.                                                                                                                                                                                  

  2.  Engage with local, national and international organisations to share knowledge, skills and identify opportunities to inform continuous improvement, knowledge, and skills transfer in all aspects of incidents involving animals incorporating contexts relating to people, and the environment


  3.  Contribute to strategic direction, advice and advocacy services promoting best practices to government, agencies, businesses and the community through formal channels and informal opportunities.                                                                        

  4.  Promote and facilitate collaboration and sharing of resources, including data and lessons learnt, amongst government, educational, professional, para-professional, non-profit and community organisations with direct or indirect roles related to incidents involving animals.                                                                                                                                     

  5.  Contribute to organisational, professional or personal improvement pathways through developing, delivery or evaluating policies, plans and projects focusing on transferable skills and knowledge between government agencies, organisations, professions and individuals.                                                                                                                                 

  6.  Contribute to education and career pathways through policy, standards development, mapping, resource production, delivery or evaluation for accredited or non-accredited, formal and informal learning opportunities at all levels from professional qualifications and continuing professional development to just-in-time community upskilling.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

  7.  To explore future opportunities in wildlife, marine, birds and across categories, including pets, commercial livestock, therapy, sports, entertainment, working and wild animals and across social, cultural and geographic settings and scenarios.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  8.  Contribute to continuous improvement and the generation of solutions through leading or participating in research, new initiatives or other arrangements to advance the field of incidents involving animals.

Download Model Rules (Constitution)

As of 18 November 2023 all organisations operating under the Victorian government Model Rules for incorporated associations (which includes AEIMN ANZ) will be automatically governed by the new model rules. More information is available here

2022/2023 Board


Professor Josh Slater

Josh is Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs  at the University of Melbourne. He has been an equine practitioner for almost 40 years and has extensive experience in Europe, having worked in private veterinary practice and in referral hospitals at the University of Cambridge and Royal Veterinary College, London. He is a past president of the British Equine Veterinary Association, the Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations and the European College of Equine Internal Medicine and was secretary of the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation. He is chairman of the Horse Trust, one of the UK’s major equine welfare charities, and has served on the boards of several international animal charities. His awards include the Pilkington Prize for Undergraduate Education, the Blue Cross Award for Animal Welfare and the ECEIM Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Postgraduate Education. He was a co-founder of the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Association (BARTA) and is a current board member. He was the veterinary lead for animal emergency incident management in the UK, working closely with emergency responders and other agencies, and was a significant contributor to the establishment of emergency services and veterinary training in animal incident management and was an advisor for the FRS during the writing of the UK’s National Occupational Guidance for incidents involving animals. He is currently the chair of the Animal Emergency Incident Management Network (ANZ).  He is a practising veterinarian, clinical researcher and educator, speaker and author of book chapters and scientific articles on a wide range of equine veterinary topics. 

Link to University of Melbourne profile


Vice Chair

David King ESM

David is a NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) Hawkesbury Unit Deputy Commander and the Co-chair of the NSW SES General Land Rescue Capability Development Group. David has been rescuing horses and cattle from creeks, dams, floats, buildings and bogs for over thirty years; and is now actively training rescue agencies throughout the State in all aspects of large animal rescue and relocation. David has authored numerous NSW SES training resources including road crash rescue, industrial and domestic rescue, flood rescue and more recently large animal rescue. In 2015, David was awarded an Emergency Services Medal (ESM) for his outstanding commitment, professionalism and dedication to building the operational capability of the NSW SES.

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Julie Fiedler

Julie is currently undertaking a PhD relating to sports horse welfare at the University of Melbourne. Read more here  




Erica Honey

Over the past 20 years, Erica has worked in the veterinary industry and emergency management. For six years she managed the emergency department of Western Australia's teaching veterinary school and has also volunteered with the State Emergency Service (SES) for the past 12 years. Erica first became involved in Animal Emergency Management (AEM) in 2005 when she assisted with Thailand's response to the Boxing Day Tsunami, setting up a makeshift hospital for 115 cats in Bangkok with a local animal welfare organisation. This experience was the catalyst for her career in AEM. There was no training for Animal Emergency Responders at the time which was what prompted her to join the SES. Following a biomedical science degree, Erica completed honours research in 2011, with a thesis on ‘Veterinary Disaster Management in Australia’.  In 2011 she was part of the World Animal Protection hosted group to establish the National Planning Principles for Animals in Emergencies. In 2014, she completed a master's in emergency management with the aim of understanding animal emergency planning and establishing a much-needed plan for WA, her research thesis, ‘The Establishment of Animal Welfare Emergency Plans in Western Australia’. Erica worked for six years with various stakeholders to establish Western Australia's animals in emergencies interim support plan. In 2016, Erica became Western Australia's inaugural State Animal Welfare Emergency Coordinator. In 2021 WA's state support plan for animals in emergencies was officially recognised. Erica is the Principal Consultant at Erica Honey Consulting which focuses on AEM and Organisational Development in the veterinary and animal industries. She also regularly speaks at conferences on AEM, org culture, leadership, and management. The opportunity to assist AEIMN ANZ means she can help to advance best practice AEM for resilient communities.

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Dr Christine Smith

I am an equine veterinarian who works in a busy private practice.  I live and work in Hawkesbury, which is a high-risk area for flooding. I have been involved in training emergency services and veterinarians/veterinary students across Australia and have been lucky to learn from and work with people (emergency personnel and other veterinarians) experienced in large animal incidents.

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Gina Kemp

I am currently the manager for the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) team that coordinates animal welfare in emergencies in NZ at the National and Regional levels.


Throughout the last 14 years working in animal welfare, I have always had a strong rescue and operational focus. In the last 7 years, I have had the opportunity to really concentrate on technical animal rescue and animal emergency management.


I am known for my effectiveness in response, commitment to training and coaching, passion for animal welfare and my resilience.

I believe the more people trained and knowledgeable in animal rescue and AEM then the quicker and better welfare outcomes for all animals.


Rod Stebbing

As principal of his own company, Emtrain Fire and Community Safety Pty. Ltd. (Emtrain), and CEO of National Workplace Services Group Pty Ltd (NWSG) RTO 22148, Rod brings to AEIMN (ANZ) extensive knowledge and experience in vocational training and education.


Working alongside large animal rescue  stakeholders and client groups, Rod has provided guidance and support over the past five years in developing animal incident management. With over 40 year’s volunteer experience in fire and emergency response, his aim is to assist building operational capability and capacity in the sector to support the future growth of animal incident management in Australia.

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Patrice Palleson-Putt

I am the current Manager of the Massey University Veterinary Emergency Response Team (MUVERT), based in Palmerston North, New Zealand. I have been a trained animal responder for nine years now and am passionate about improving the welfare outcomes of animals in disasters. My aim is to increase the educational offerings, research outputs in this field, and further contribute to building community resilience in the face of adversity. I firmly believe collaboration and connection are crucial, as we strive to build the capacity of animal emergency response in New Zealand.

Fabian Stangherlin

Fabian's dedication and long-standing commitment to the Greenbank rural fire brigade in Queensland is truly commendable. Serving as a volunteer firefighter for 23 years and spending 14 of those years as the first officer demonstrates not only his passion for firefighting but also his leadership within the brigade.


His specialization in large animal rescues, particularly rescuing horses and cattle from challenging situations such as dams, creeks, and floats, showcases his unique skill set. Large animal rescues can be complex and dangerous, and Fabian's expertise in this area highlights his commitment to the well-being of both human and animal communities.


Fabian's recognition in 2016 with the Australian Fire Service Medal is a testament to his exceptional contributions. The award, granted for his innovative work in large animal rescue and the creation of a flexible habitat, underscores his commitment to finding effective solutions to the challenges faced in firefighting and animal rescue scenarios.


Fabian's story is not only a testament to his personal dedication but also a reminder of the crucial role that volunteers play in emergency services, especially in regions prone to wildfires and other natural disasters. His innovative approach and commitment to large animal rescue have likely had a positive and lasting impact on the Greenbank rural fire brigade and the broader firefighting community

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