We’re moving!

The Veterinarian is moving offices! Please update your contacts.

DIRECTOR
Clem Martin | clem.martin@vetmag.com.au | + 61 2 9487 6627 | Fax: + 61 2 9487 5516

EDITOR
Luke Martin | luke.martin@vetmag.com.au | + 61 403 292 099 | Fax: + 61 2 9487 5516

NATIONAL SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER
James Martin | james.martin@vetmag.com.au | + 61 432 575 877 | Fax: + 61 2 9487 5516

The Veterinarian welcomes letters to the Editor and article submissions. Please email . . . → Read More: We’re moving!

Government removed whistleblower following export industry concerns

Simon Crean_1392The Federal Government removed a whistleblower vet from her duties following the presentation of evidence of cruelty on Australian live export ships.
The ABC’s 7.30 obtained evidence which they claim demonstrates that Lynn Simpson was dumped by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources after she made a highly critical report in 2012.
Simpson’s report included pictures of animals suffocating in overcrowded conditions, drowning in faeces and being forced to stand on hard surfaces for weeks on end.
The report was apparently intended to be an internal document, but it was accidentally published on the department’s website.
Simpson was relieved of her duties within weeks of publication, and claims her evidence was soon sanitised.
The then first assistant secretary of the department’s Animal Division, Karen Schneider, contacted Simpson in a letter obtained by the ABC and conceded she was removed from her role because of industry concerns.
“This is because the industry with which we engage has expressed the view they cannot work with you,” Schneider wrote. Continue reading Government removed whistleblower following export industry concerns

NSW Government bans greyhound racing

Picture: Dieppe DesignNew South Wales became the first Australian state committing to shut down greyhound racing after a Special Commission found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty.
The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry of New South Wales, led by the Honourable Michael McHugh AC QC, found that the rate of “wastage” of uncompetitive dogs was 50-70 per cent (between 48,891 and 68,448 dogs over a 12 year period). The Inquiry found evidence that 10 to 20 per cent of trainers engaged in the practice of live baiting.
Despite previous efforts to clean up the industry, deaths and injuries went unreported to Greyhound Racing New South Wales. The report found that “many trainers appear to prefer cheap and sometimes painful methods of treating greyhound injuries instead of using the services of qualified veterinary surgeons.”
On the subject of live baiting, the reported concluded that “there is a very real risk that, once the harsh spotlight of this Commission is removed from the industry, the practice of live baiting will thrive once more.” Continue reading NSW Government bans greyhound racing

Vet Ethics: Harambe’s death: zooming in on zoos

The shooting of a 17-year-old male gorilla at the Cincinnati zoo after a child fell into his enclosure provoked a huge international reaction. The reaction was comparable to previous outpourings of anger and sadness following the killing of Cecil the lion by an American trophy hunter, and the killing of Marius the young giraffe by the Copenhagen zoo because he was surplus to breeding requirements and not required for display purposes.
In fact, Harambe’s killing generated a variety of emotions and responses. Obviously, people were upset at the loss of the gorilla’s life. Part of this response may have been bound up with the fact that gorillas are endangered. But another key aspect of the response was that gorillas are highly intelligent and emotional animals. Someone who knew Harambe said that he was always thinking. Animals like Harambe, we were reminded, have unique personalities. His killing was called a tragedy and even likened to homicide by some people. Continue reading Vet Ethics: Harambe’s death: zooming in on zoos

Abstracts: Chlamydia felis: lack of association between clinical signs and the presence of the cryptic plasmid.

Chlamydia felis is an obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen that infects cats, causing severe conjunctivitis associated with upper respiratory tract disease (URTD). In the present study, 186 cats from three non-commercial catteries in São Paulo, SP, Brazil were evaluated. The detection of C. felis was performed by PCR. The clinical severity was scored from 1 to 4, . . . → Read More: Abstracts: Chlamydia felis: lack of association between clinical signs and the presence of the cryptic plasmid.

Abstracts: Are observer ratings influenced by prescription? A comparison of Free Choice Profiling and Fixed List methods of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment

Qualitative methods of behavioural assessment use observer rating scales to score the overall demeanour or body language of animals. Establishing the reliability of such holistic approaches requires test and validation of the methods used. Here, we compare two methodologies used in Qualitative Behavioural Assessment (QBA): Fixed-Lists (FL) and Free-Choice Profiling (FCP). A laboratory class of 27 . . . → Read More: Abstracts: Are observer ratings influenced by prescription? A comparison of Free Choice Profiling and Fixed List methods of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment