News & Media

Vet workshops support WA’s high biosecurity status

Released on

Released on:
Monday, 10. June 2019 - 13:45

Rural and peri-urban veterinarians have participated in a series of regional workshops coordinated by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The workshops aim to provide updated information on WA’s surveillance systems, reinforce how the daily work of a vet contributes to protecting WA’s livestock markets, and improve vets’ ability to detect emergency animal diseases quickly.

Department Animal Health Surveillance Manager Marion Seymour said the workshops, which attracted 67 private and government vets, were an annual event that brought together WA’s livestock vets and pathologists to share surveillance information and expertise.

“Federal and state government and private vets work in partnership to sustain and protect WA’s enviable animal health status,” Dr Seymour said.

“Vets – both government and private – undertake livestock disease investigations every day.

“The results are used to underpin WA’s high animal health status and allow us to export 80 per cent of our livestock product annually.

“The workshops are an opportunity for vets to hear the latest surveillance program updates from department vets as well as to gain insights into the most effective sampling techniques and laboratory submissions.”

The four workshops were held during late May, in Bunbury, Albany, Guildford and Dongara.

The department’s eight field vets also gathered for an additional workshop in Katanning, which included a practical exercise at Katanning Saleyards.

“Topics for discussion this year included the epidemic of African swine fever sweeping across China, Europe and South East Asia and how vets can identify signs of the disease,” Dr Seymour said.

“Vets also received guidelines on how their prescribing practice can help to slow the development of antimicrobial resistance.

“There were also demonstrations of how data sample sets provided by vets from routine investigations are used to contribute to proof of freedom from specific diseases.

“The attendees particularly enjoyed the presentations of difficult-to-diagnose cases provided by DPIRD’s veterinary pathologists, which included tips on differentials to include.”

Groups of vets in saleyards
Rod Bushell, Katanning Saleyards manager (second left), pictured with Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development field vets during their Katanning workshop. Vets from left: Graham Mackereth, Broome; Kevin Hepworth, Bunbury; Vanessa Rushworth, South Perth; Andrew Larkins, Albany; Kristine Rayner, Katanning; Rod Thompson, Northam; Courtenay Bombara, Moora; Marion Seymour, Surveillance Manager; Anna Erickson, Narrogin.
Two vets standing in a saleyard
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development field vet Kristine Rayner with Katanning Saleyards manager Rod Bushell during a practical exercise at the Katanning saleyards.

Media contacts: Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, DPIRD media liaison  +61 (0)8 9368 3937