Climate change is one of a number of factors that are likely to affect the future of Australian agriculture, animal production and animal health, particularly when associated with other factors such as environmental degradation, intensive animal production, an increasing human population, and expanding urbanisation. Notwithstanding the harshness and variability of Australia’s climate, significant livestock industries have been developed, with the majority of products from such industries exported throughout the world. A critical factor in achieving market access has been an enviable animal health status, which is underpinned by first class animal health services with a strong legislative basis, well-trained staff, engagement of industry, effective surveillance, good scientific and laboratory support, effective emergency management procedures, a sound quarantine system, and strong political support. However, enhancements still need to be made to Australia’s animal health system, for example: re-defining the science–policy interface; refining foresight, risk analysis, surveillance, diagnostics, and emergency management; improving approaches to education, training, technology transfer, communications and awareness; and engaging more with the international community in areas such as capacity building, the development of veterinary services, and disease response systems. A ‘one health’ approach will be adopted to bring together skills in the fields of animal, public, wildlife and environmental health. These initiatives, if managed correctly, will minimise the risks resulting from global warming and other factors predisposing to disease.