Kiwi Post July 2011

We arrived at a dairy farm the other day to find out just how much of a shambles dairy farming currently is in New Zealand. Of course, we all know things are changing fast, but none of us ever guessed it could slump so low.

There were three of us, on farm at 4AM, to pregnancy scan and record an 800 cow herd. We pulled most of the gear out of the car, got set up, and went back to the car to find we had managed to somehow lock it with our car keys and –most distressing of all- all our phones inside.

No problem, we had most of our gear and could carry on scanning while someone broke into it and unlocked it. Plenty of half-employed drongos on a dairy farm to do this in five minutes. So we started up scanning.

But modern dairy farms have changed. And, when it comes to a bit of breaking and entry, not for the better. Nobody employs drongos anymore. These days on Kiwi dairy farms the vast majority of staff are likely to be from overseas and have a tertiary degree. So, if they’re not from Europe with a science degree, they’re from the Phillipines with a veterinary degree, or Asia with an agricultural degree.

So, a little over 3 hours later when we came to wash up we found that nobody had broken into our car because nobody had any idea how to. Worst still, even if they could, it would be simply unthinkable for them to carry out such a wanton act of crime. On the farm that day, including us, were 8 people from 7 nationalities with at least 9 degrees amongst us, and not a single Kiwi. Continue reading Kiwi Post July 2011

New findings regarding the stereotypic behaviour of “regurgitation and reingestion” in captive western lowland gorillas

Introduction
“Regurgitation and reingestion” or “R/R” is defined as a retrograde movement of foodstuff from the oesophagus or stomach to the mouth, hand or floor, and its subsequent ingestion (Lukas, 1999). R/R is not part of a gorilla’s normal feeding mechanism hence it is regarded as an anomalous behaviour, indicating sub-optimal welfare in captive gorillas (Bloomsmith et al., 1991). R/R is regularly seen in captive gorillas (Akers & Schildkraut, 1985) but has not been reported in the wild (Hill, 2009).

This paper aims to discuss recent studies that have provided insight into possible pathological consequences, causes, and prevention strategies of R/R in captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). Continue reading New findings regarding the stereotypic behaviour of “regurgitation and reingestion” in captive western lowland gorillas

Re: Dr Coghlan’s article on considering the exposure of cruelty (The Veterinarian, June 2011)

Dear Editor,

Export of live animals for slaughter is a result of one motive – there is money to be made.

In the article, the first response that “Australia has an obligation to animals to continue the trade to countries with mediocre welfare records” beggars belief.

It is painfully obvious that the Meat and Livestock Authority and Livecorp have . . . → Read More: Re: Dr Coghlan’s article on considering the exposure of cruelty (The Veterinarian, June 2011)

Oral examination results in rescued ferrets: clinical findings

Ferrets have increased in popularity as pets, and a growing number are seen in companion animal practice. Domestic ferrets are commonly used as animal models for research of human oral conditions. The present study evaluated the prevalence of oral pathology in rescued ferrets which – to the authors’ knowledge – has not yet been described in . . . → Read More: Oral examination results in rescued ferrets: clinical findings

Army of vets deliver care to Pacific

Veterinarians from the Australian and US armies, Spanish navy, World Vets and Vets Without Borders provided veterinary care to animals on a four-day mission in Timor-Leste last month.

The exercise was part of the Pacific Partnership annual humanitarian aid mission, and is sponsored by the US-led Pacific Fleet.

Queensland vet Major Amanda Parry, a reservist with the Australian . . . → Read More: Army of vets deliver care to Pacific