Western Australia’s animal health status is in the expert hands of veterinary pathologists with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to diagnose livestock, aquatic or wildlife disease.
Rapid, accurate diagnoses are essential to protect domestic and international markets and public health from diseases of concern.
DPIRD pathologist Megan Curnow recently boosted the international credentials of the department’s diagnostic team after receiving a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology.
Senior veterinary pathologist Shane Besier said the Diplomate certification by the American Board of Pathology was the highest certification possible in veterinary pathology and was internationally recognised.
“This certification recognises that candidates who successfully sit the exam are the foremost experts in the field of veterinary pathology,” Dr Besier said
“The department supported Dr Curnow to undertake the challenging examinations and will benefit from her skills and credentials to diagnose exotic diseases.
“In 2017/18, our laboratories carried out 1243 animal disease investigations. The test results are used to support Western Australia’s proof of freedom from significant diseases that could affect export markets.
“Dr Curnow will support this investigative work and help develop animal health and diagnostics policy, as well as mentor new pathologists and trainee veterinarians across the state to build diagnostic expertise in WA.”
Dr Curnow said it had been arduous managing the enormous amount of study required for the pathology exams held in Tampa, Florida last year.
“It would have been impossible to achieve this result without the support of DPIRD, my pathology colleagues and mentors from other pathology groups,” she said.
Dr Curnow graduated from veterinary medicine in 2011 and completed her Masters of Veterinary Clinical Studies in Veterinary Pathology at Murdoch University in 2015.
Originally from England, she grew up in Albany on a hobby farm, where her interest in animal disease began.
“I’ve always been fascinated by pathology. I love solving puzzles and that’s often what disease investigations come down to,” Dr Curnow said.
“It is extremely satisfying to be able to make a critical diagnosis and help resolve animal health issues knowing that that information we provide as pathologists helps individual producers and their herd but also potentially the whole WA livestock industry.”
Media contacts: Jodie Thomson, media liaison, 9368 3937