RSPCA not ‘extreme’

The RSPCA has emphasised its defence of animal welfare, not rights, after allegations of extremism by farm organisations.

Concerns were raised by over 300 delegates at the annual New South Wales Farmers Association conference over the RSPCA’s role in monitoring livestock across the state.

The delegates passed a motion urging that the special-constable-status of the RSPCA be removed in regard to commercial livestock.

We flatly reject any suggestion the RSPCA NSW is biased or using our brand to drive an agenda…we are not an animal rights organisation,” RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said.

RSPCA Inspectors enforce existing animal protection legislation on behalf of the NSW state government.”

Separately to the inspecting role, the RSPCA works to promote uptake of husbandry and management practices, Coleman said. Continue reading RSPCA not ‘extreme’

The path of a polymath: Lloyd Reeve-Johnson

 

Lloyd Reeve-JohnsonMany Australians have read about veterinarian Lloyd Reeve-Johnson in his capacity as a live export investigator, particularly when his journey to Mauritius to examine flaws in regulation of the trade gained national media coverage.

During the trip he noted pregnant cattle, misleading paperwork, unaccounted calf euthanasia and a general failure to implement OIE recommendations.

However his interest in the live animal trade is a relatively small part of an impressively polymathic career which encompasses areas such as drug development, education and even a novel.

The 43-year-old grew up internationally, spending his childhood in remote rural Zimbabwe and feeling the influence of the generations of farming in his family.

More drawn to animals than crops, he rode horses from the age of three and looked forward to one day owning the family cattle ranch.

“Becoming a veterinarian seemed the logical way to add value to the animal management and breeding aspects of the ranch,” Reeve-Johnson said.

And so after attending the historic Rugby School in Warwickshire, UK, he moved on to a veterinary degree at Edinburgh University.

Reeve-Johnson worked as a country vet in the South of Scotland/North of England for a pleasant couple of years (“in a clinic very akin to that described in the James Herriot novels”), before being hired by a multinational, an experience which brought him to 60 countries over an eight year period.

“I was able to use my foreign languages on a weekly basis, work in some fascinating cultures across emerging Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia at a time of a lot of change and growth,” he said.

Reeve-Johnson assisted in the development of some new treatments such as the macrolide antibiotic Tilmicosin, which is sold in 120 countries.

He was also involved in the development of ionophores, hormones as well as number of companion animal products, including some which were used to assist human drug development.

The experience in the corporate world helped Reeve-Johnson acquire the necessary nous to establish the PetDoctors UK clinic chain in 2002 with two other vets and a banker.

PetDoctors grew from a couple of branches with a dozen staff to 28 multi-vet clinics, a major tertiary referral site and a large diagnostic laboratory (Greendale Diagnostics) within a few years.

Expansion enabled Reeve-Johnson and his team to release some of their own branded products and conduct ethical research in to new treatments.

In 2005 Reeve-Johnson moved to Australian and was appointed Head of Veterinary School at the University of Queensland, spending an “interesting couple of years” of reform.

Continue reading The path of a polymath: Lloyd Reeve-Johnson

Japanese duo caught leaving with lizards

Western Australian authorities have stopped two Japanese men from smuggling 30 lizards out of the country.

The men were caught with 28 shingleback lizards, an unspecified skink and a bearded dragon in their checked baggage at Perth International Airport.

It is believed the reptiles could have been worth about $130,000 on the black market.

Rick Dawson from the Department . . . → Read More: Japanese duo caught leaving with lizards

Tick vigilance urged for coming holidays

Romy Feldman. (Picture Bjørn Christian Tørrissen)

“Roaming Vet” Romy Feldman has advised pet owners to be cautious particularly when taking animals on holiday, as different regions have different pests and treatments needed.

“It is important to be informed about the risk in their area and any hot-spots that come about, like tick cases recently reported as coming . . . → Read More: Tick vigilance urged for coming holidays

Live export vessel veterinarian reports injuries, standards breaches

tightly stockedThe recent mistreatment of Australian animals overseas has been the source of much consternation in recent months, deflecting attention from conditions on live export ships.

A veterinarian who has spent 13 years working on live export voyages has made a submission to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) review in to Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock (ASEL), which alleges that some in the industry are more concerned with profits than animal welfare.

Lynn Simpson, who has been an accredited on-board veterinarian for 57 live export voyages, as well as having peripheral feedlot, loading and transportation experience, described the suffering of animals resulting from exporters allegedly ignoring the law.

“It should be appreciated that these voyages are not all short and clean as depicted by industry and their public relations machine,” she said. Continue reading Live export vessel veterinarian reports injuries, standards breaches