Outcry over Massey chancellor’s ‘sexist’ comments

kelly-chris-chancellorMassey University chancellor Chris Kelly has been criticised over comments reported in Rural News which claimed a woman graduate was of less worth than a full-time vet.

The article also contained news of Massey’s plan to add practical aspects of farming and veterinary work into degrees from 2019, highlighting the University’s focus on agriculture, a move to combat claims that while new graduates are academically qualified, they lack practical ability.

In the article, Kelly said the majority of veterinary students and graduates at the University were women, and that more women students proceed to second year.

“That’s because women mature earlier than men, work hard and pass,” he said. “When I went through vet school, many years ago, it was dominated by men; today it’s dominated by women. That’s fine, but the problem is one woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life because she gets married and has a family, which is normal. So, though we’re graduating a lot of vets, we’re getting a high fallout rate later on,” Continue reading Outcry over Massey chancellor’s ‘sexist’ comments

Veterinary business groups to merge

The Australian Veterinary Association has announced that its practice management special interest group, AVAPM, will be joining forces with the Australian Veterinary Business Association (AVBA) from 1 January 2017.

Amalgamation will create the Veterinary Business Group, a new body which will become part of the AVA, and will provide support to veterinary practice managers.

“This move is an . . . → Read More: Veterinary business groups to merge

Signs shown of genetic resistance to DFTD

Research by an international team of scientists, published at the end of August in the journal Nature Communications, shows two regions in the genomes of Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) appear to be evolving in response to the fatal facial tumour disease that has ravaged populations in the wild for almost 20 years.

Evolutionary geneticist Andrew Storfer from Washington State University, and geneticist Paul Hohenlohe from the University of Idaho, compared tissue samples collected from Tasmanian devils by Menna Jones over a 17-year period. An Associate Professor and wildlife ecologist at the University of Tasmania, Jones is credited with first identifying DFTD during the mid-1990s, and she subsequently established long-term field sites to study the animals. In less than 20 years populations of devils in the wild have declined by more than 80 per cent.

Jones, who is a co-author of the paper, said two small genomic regions were identified in the recently collected DNA samples from three sites: Narawntapu in Tasmania’s north-east, West Pencil Pine in western Tasmania’s Cradle Valley, and Freycinet, on the east coast. They all exhibited significant changes in response to the strong selection imposed by the disease. Continue reading Signs shown of genetic resistance to DFTD

It’s a panda party for Fu Ni

Adelaide Zoo has thrown a birthday party for the ninth birthday party of Fu Ni the giant panda.

The event was the female panda’s fifth birthday in Australia since arriving at Adelaide Zoo in 2009, and she was given a number of stimulating, panda-friendly treats.

Fu Ni and her counterpart male, Wang Wang, are part of an international . . . → Read More: It’s a panda party for Fu Ni

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