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Monday, May 23
 

13:30 ACST

Use of animal based measures for assessing farm-animal welfare
The first reports published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) tried to identify environment and management indicators of poor welfare, because this approach corresponded to a quick and easy assessment. Consequently most European legislation on farm animal welfare was supported on these resource-based indicators. However, good management and access to an adequate environment do not necessarily result in a high standard of welfare. More recently the advantages of measuring welfare through animal-based indicators – the way in which the animal itself responds and copes with its surroundings – have become evident. In this paper we will review the process of testing animal-based indicators for validity (Does it measure what we think it measures? Does it relate to the animals experience?), reliability (Would it be recorded in the same way by more than one assessor? Would the same assessor record it in the same way on more than one occasion?) and feasibility (Can it be measured on farm in a reasonable manner?)

Speakers
avatar for Professor George Stilwell

Professor George Stilwell

Assistant Professor, Veterinary Medicine Faculty - Lisbon University
George Stilwell took his degree in 1986 in Lisbon University. He worked as a practitioner for 15 years before joining the university where he now lectures farm animal clinics. George PhD studies were on pain management in cattle. He is a Diplomate by the European College in Bovine... Read More →


Monday May 23, 2016 13:30 - 14:30 ACST
Room L2 Adelaide Convention Centre

14:30 ACST

Welfare quality and AWIN welfare assessment protocols for ruminants
Welfare assessment requires a multidimensional approach corresponding to a multi-criteria evaluation. To develop a practical tool that delivers an overall view of welfare, different specific indicators need to be integrated into an assessment protocol. In 2009 the Welfare Quality project re-elaborated the concept of the traditional “Five Freedoms” and defined four main areas of concern (“Welfare Principles”) – Good feeding; Good housing; Good health; Appropriate behaviour expression – which were then split into twelve criteria each of which corresponded to a key welfare dimension. Criteria should be independent of each other and form an exhaustive, but minimal list. Two large European projects have recently studied and integrated welfare indicators to produce assessment protocols for most production animal species. The Welfare Quality (2009) project addressed both dairy and beef cattle and the AWIN project produced protocols for sheep and goats (2015). In this paper we will present the different protocols and discuss the applicability and constrains encountered when applying them

Speakers
avatar for Professor George Stilwell

Professor George Stilwell

Assistant Professor, Veterinary Medicine Faculty - Lisbon University
George Stilwell took his degree in 1986 in Lisbon University. He worked as a practitioner for 15 years before joining the university where he now lectures farm animal clinics. George PhD studies were on pain management in cattle. He is a Diplomate by the European College in Bovine... Read More →


Monday May 23, 2016 14:30 - 15:30 ACST
Room L2 Adelaide Convention Centre

16:00 ACST

Animal welfare and profitable farming
Increasingly, consumers expect animal welfare to be part of the core of farm animal production and will avoid products which they view as not fulfilling minimum conditions. Examples of this pressure and of consumers withdrawing their support for certain types of production are available worldwide. So, farming counter to public concern is nowadays unsustainable. However, assessing and ratifying welfare has shown to be not only essential in these certification schemes for consumers and in legislation enforcement, but also a useful tool in clinical, management and economical decision making. Measurement is a fundamental component of management and supervision. It is obvious that animals with poor welfare have suboptimal performances or demand artificial ways of maintaining health and production (e.g. antimicrobials). By assessing welfare through a well built and comprehensive protocol, it is possible to early identify sub-clinical disease, health risk factors and reasons for low yield, reduced growth or high mortality. It is also an excellent way to discern and monitor disease prevalence, such as lameness. In this paper we will present examples of good welfare as a way to guarantee animal health and farm profit

Speakers
avatar for Professor George Stilwell

Professor George Stilwell

Assistant Professor, Veterinary Medicine Faculty - Lisbon University
George Stilwell took his degree in 1986 in Lisbon University. He worked as a practitioner for 15 years before joining the university where he now lectures farm animal clinics. George PhD studies were on pain management in cattle. He is a Diplomate by the European College in Bovine... Read More →


Monday May 23, 2016 16:00 - 17:00 ACST
Room L2 Adelaide Convention Centre

17:00 ACST

Theileria molecular diagnostics, chemotherapy, epidemiology and immunology
After what had been considered the benign presence of the organism in Queensland cattle for more than a century, Bovine anaemia caused by the Theileria orientalis group became an emerging disease of cattle in north-east NSW, with a sharp increase in the number of clinical outbreaks from 2007 onwards. A group of stakeholders met in September 2009 to agree on a national case definition for the condition and extension of available knowledge, to prioritise research directions and projects, and to develop a national education and communication plan. The agreed broad areas of research were: the aetiology and transmission of the disease; the prevalence of the disease, the organism and its vector(s); diagnostics, therapy and economic impact. In the ensuing 6 years, Meat and Livestock Australia funded a suite of research projects into the condition. Molecular diagnostics enabled the discovery that more than one type of T orientalis were present and that the Ikeda type was consistently implicated in cases of clinical disease and was probably a relatively new arrival to the country. Buparvaquone was chosen as a candidate chemotherapeutic and residue assay and depletion data generated. Further research confirmed that Haemaphysalis longicornis was a biological vector of the infection in Australia, but that mechanical transmission by various means could not be ruled out

Speakers
JS

Johann Schroder

Johann Schröder After qualifying as a veterinarian at Onderstepoort in South Africa and a short stint in mixed private practice, Dr Schröder joined the multi-national pharmaceutical industry and specialised in veterinary parasitology, in which he holds a Master’s degree. His industry... Read More →


Monday May 23, 2016 17:00 - 17:30 ACST
Room L3 Adelaide Convention Centre

17:00 ACST

Genotypic and phenotypic resistance and resilience of sheep to gastro-intestinal parasitism
Selection for genetic resistance and resilience to gastro-intestinal worms is established practice in the Australian sheep industry. Genetic resistance is mediated by host immune response which has been shown to be a significant contributor to reduced growth rate in scourworm infections in sheep. Several questions of practical importance arise:  Can  selection for resistance inadvertently reduce productivity of meat sheep ?: Are there differences in the cost of the immune response between lambs that differ in their potential to limit worm infection (resistance)?: If so, is the cost influenced by co-selection for increased growth rate in the presence of infection (resilience)?  There are two mechanisms to address these questions, namely review of industry genetic and productivity data, and structured experimentation in known genetic lines of sheep. This presentation draws the available information together, defines undisputable knowledge, attempts to identify questionable assumptions, and assembles thoughts on what we need to know to underpin ongoing efficient selection for resistance and resilience to worm infections in sheep.

Speakers
DI

Dr Ian Carmichael

Dr Ian Carmichael graduated in Veterinary Science from Melbourne University in 1967 and was awarded a DVSc from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 1990. He worked in Africa and Asia for two decades as a specialist research scientist in government and corporate educational... Read More →


Monday May 23, 2016 17:00 - 18:00 ACST
Room L2 Adelaide Convention Centre

17:30 ACST

Economic impact of endemic livestock diseases
Producer-funded animal health R&D in Australia is prioritised in part based on the estimated cost of the most important diseases. A survey of cattle and sheep diseases conducted in 2006 had served as a valuable tool for this purpose, but needed updating. A follow-up survey in 2014 estimated the cost of a number of endemic diseases considered to be economically damaging to the red meat industry (cattle, sheep and goats). The survey included producers, processors, government and industry representatives, as well as perusal of available literature. Assumptions of disease distribution, prevalence, production losses and costs of prevention and treatment were analysed in a spreadsheet-based model which estimated individual animal, herd/flock and national costs of each important disease. The 17 diseases of cattle, 23 of sheep and 8 of goats were further assessed in terms of knowledge gaps regarding their aetiology, prevention and treatment, and the threat each one posed in terms of geographic distribution and prevalence

Speakers
JS

Johann Schroder

Johann Schröder After qualifying as a veterinarian at Onderstepoort in South Africa and a short stint in mixed private practice, Dr Schröder joined the multi-national pharmaceutical industry and specialised in veterinary parasitology, in which he holds a Master’s degree. His industry... Read More →


Monday May 23, 2016 17:30 - 18:00 ACST
Room L3 Adelaide Convention Centre
 
Tuesday, May 24
 

08:00 ACST

Less frequent indicators of poor health and welfare in ruminants
While studying animal-based measures to be included in the welfare assessment protocols, researchers often identify potential welfare indicators that do not fulfil the standards. This could be due to low prevalence, ambiguous meaning, lack of inter-observer repeatability, or unknown or controversial validity. For example, stereotypies (repetitive, topographically invariant response sequences that appear to lack any ultimate or proximal function) are often detected in intensively kept ruminants but the welfare significance of these is not clear. The most frequent examples of oral stereotypic behaviour in ruminants are “tongue-playing” observed mostly in heifers and cows, and biting at fences, walls or troughs, which are common in sheep, goats and calves. Another example to be presented is cross and inter-sucking that is relatively common in some dairy farms and has profound implications in udder health. Other examples in small ruminants’ farms are certain agonistic behaviours, isolation from the herd, obliviousness etc… Additionally Qualitive Behaviour Assessment (QBA) will be discussed as a potential positive welfare indicator

Speakers
avatar for Professor George Stilwell

Professor George Stilwell

Assistant Professor, Veterinary Medicine Faculty - Lisbon University
George Stilwell took his degree in 1986 in Lisbon University. He worked as a practitioner for 15 years before joining the university where he now lectures farm animal clinics. George PhD studies were on pain management in cattle. He is a Diplomate by the European College in Bovine... Read More →


Tuesday May 24, 2016 08:00 - 09:00 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre

09:00 ACST

What is the role of the farm animal clinician?
The change in roles for most farm animal clinicians from treating individual sick animals to working at a herd / flock preventive level has been obvious and widely recognised. Farm animal clinicians may also have roles as educators, facilitators, counsellors, advocates, researchers or even enforcers. These potential complex roles generate a) ethical questions: whose interests are clinicians working towards? b) practical questions : how do we better communicate to achieve these goals? and c) financial questions : How can veterinary practices derive income from these new roles ? Given the information explosion, it seems impossible for vets to retain the reputation as the single authoritative source of animal health and welfare knowledge, perhaps clients primarily need support in synthesising and reviewing existing knowledge. Recent work has also highlighted the potential for valuing innovation and research undertaken by groups of farmers. In this context vets could have a role in supporting the production of practice-based evidence rather than simply disseminating evidence-based medicine

Speakers
avatar for Professor David Main

Professor David Main

Professor of Animal Welfare, University of Bristol
David Main is a Head of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group and Professor of Animal Welfare at the University of Bristol Veterinary School. His research interests include welfare assessment, intervention strategies to improve welfare and animal welfare education in farm and companion... Read More →


Tuesday May 24, 2016 09:00 - 10:00 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre

13:30 ACST

Ethical and economical reasons for pain management
Why is pain management important in farm animals? First there is an ethical and professional duty that has to be complied. Not only consumers but owners and farmers are increasingly conscious of animal sentience and the physical and mental consequences of pain and will look suspiciously towards vets that do not adopt minimal pain management procedures. But more importantly there is sufficient evidence that chronic pain is associated with sub-optimal performance, higher susceptibility to infectious disease, reduce product quality… It should be clear for vets and farmers that not recognizing signs in ruminants does not mean that there is no pain. We will review definitions and recall pain physiology – transmission, perception, modulation and thresholds – so that its effects on body functioning are sufficiently clear. We will present studies that have shown that effective pain management is strongly correlated with better performance (e.g. yield and fertility) by dairy and beef ruminants. Finally we will also discuss the constrains and limits – cost, residues, lack of knowledge – associated with the use of analgesia in production animals

Speakers
avatar for Professor George Stilwell

Professor George Stilwell

Assistant Professor, Veterinary Medicine Faculty - Lisbon University
George Stilwell took his degree in 1986 in Lisbon University. He worked as a practitioner for 15 years before joining the university where he now lectures farm animal clinics. George PhD studies were on pain management in cattle. He is a Diplomate by the European College in Bovine... Read More →


Tuesday May 24, 2016 13:30 - 14:30 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre

14:30 ACST

Influencing our clients: What is possible and ethical?
Given that many veterinarians wish to improve the welfare of animals in their care, motivating clients to change husbandry can be a daily challenge. Encouraging uptake of best practice can be important for the health of the animal (e.g. canine obesity), for the profitability of the farmer (e.g. dairy cattle lameness) or public health (e.g. reduction in antimicrobial use). In human medicine a well validated approach called motivational interviewing has been shown to have a positive impact on health related lifestyle changes, such as diet, smoking and alcohol. The technique has been developed to be applicable to a ten minute consultations so is potentially relevant in veterinary medicine. Preliminary data on its potential application to UK farm animal clinicians will be presented. Alongside the potential for encouraging the uptake of best practice this session will also explore the ethics of influencing clients. For example would clients be comfortable knowing that we are training veterinary students in influencing skills? Can and should we use these new techniques to “sell” more products and services?

Speakers
avatar for Professor David Main

Professor David Main

Professor of Animal Welfare, University of Bristol
David Main is a Head of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group and Professor of Animal Welfare at the University of Bristol Veterinary School. His research interests include welfare assessment, intervention strategies to improve welfare and animal welfare education in farm and companion... Read More →


Tuesday May 24, 2016 14:30 - 15:30 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre
 
Wednesday, May 25
 

08:00 ACST

Treating peri-urban small ruminants
Small ruminants are very popular pets and companion animals. Owners commonly seek high quality individual medicine and surgery for these pets just as they would for their other companion animals. These owners are found everywhere, though in my experience most often encountered on “hobby farms” in peri-urban areas. These owners may come from a livestock back ground, though more commonly they have little experience. They commonly are starving for an eager veterinarian to help them learn and provide them with advice. We will focus on high quality individual animal medicine and surgery for sheep, goats, and South American camelids. I hope to build the confidence of the veterinarians that may be hesitant to see the family pet alpaca, and also to exchange some tips with the seasoned show sheep veterinarians. Integrating individual animal small ruminant medicine can be very rewarding to your practice. We will cover a wide range of topics including sedation, urolithiasis, gastrointestinal parasites and dystocia including caesarean section success tips.

Speakers
DB

Dr Brandon Fraser

Dr. Brandon Fraser is a specialist veterinarian as a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine- Large Animal. Currently he is a large animal clinician and the director of the Gatton Campus Farm Animal Ambulatory Service at the University of Queensland. He received... Read More →


Wednesday May 25, 2016 08:00 - 09:00 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre

09:00 ACST

Small lot holders,their biosecurity risk and strategies to reduce their risk
Rural Australia has experienced a demographic shift in the last forty years where there has been a move from a landscape dominated by large commercial family farms, to one we now see which includes large farms interspersed with rural residential properties and weekenders. The peri-urban or small lot holders (SLH), form part of our rural landscape and bring with them a diversity that enriches and strengthens rural communities. They have for many years been regarded as a high biosecurity risk. Their lack of farming background and subsequent level of knowledge, especially of biosecurity practices, puts them at risk for the introduction and spread of exotic disease and pests. Although they potentially lack experience in certain areas, many are also knowledge seekers and are motivated to “do the right thing” by their animals and neighbours. The main concerns from this sector include the lack of biosecurity knowledge and the amount of informal trading of sheep, cattle and pigs. Informal trading means traceability is compromised and will slow or hinder control in the event of an emergency animal disease (EAD) outbreak. Any focus in the area should aim to increase compliance and must include the pig trading small lot holder as this is a particularly high risk for the introduction and establishment of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD). The lack of investment in this small lot holder extension requires a coordinated response from all relevant stake holders, to ensure better use of existing scant resources. This paper will summarise some of the strategies formulated in a workshop held in 2015 in Melbourne.

Speakers
DP

Dr Patrick Kluver

Patrick has a wealth of experience in endemic and exotic disease control. This includes carrying out research into Johne’s disease for the Victorian Government, and working as a lecturer in sheep medicine and production at the University of Melbourne Veterinary School for five years... Read More →


Wednesday May 25, 2016 09:00 - 09:30 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre

09:30 ACST

Panel Discussion
Wednesday May 25, 2016 09:30 - 10:00 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre

10:30 ACST

Organic farming, better for you and the planet?
The technological mindset that would dump billions of pounds of deadly chemicals into the soil, and mix the genetic material of different species, and build factory farms where livestock are treated like industrial commodities … has a deeply arrogant view of the natural world. It regards Nature as something to be conquered and controlled for short term profit.1
"The greatest catastrophe that the human race could face this century is not global warming but a global conversion to ‘organic farming'-an estimated 2 billion people would perish.

Speakers
BW

Bruce Watt

central tablelands local land services
Bruce graduated from University of Sydney 1976, completing a combined Masters and Residency program in food animal medicine at Kansas State University in 1978 . In 1980, he began at the University of Melbourne, including working with Dr Fred Morley to establish a health and production... Read More →


Wednesday May 25, 2016 10:30 - 11:00 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre

11:00 ACST

Organic farming in the Falkland Islands. What lessons have been learned?
Until recently 35% of the Falkland Islands land mass was certified organic under the Australian Certified Organics scheme. The choice to enter the scheme was largely pragmatic due to the low requirement for chemical inputs due to such things as the previous eradication of lice and keds on the islands. On the other hand whilst fertiliser would be highly beneficial the high cost of transportation to the islands makes it unfeasible on any substantial scale. In seven years many lessons have been learnt about how to produce organic wool. Many difficulties have been faced such as controlling internal parasites, while other issues arising on organic farms have driven them out of the scheme such as the lack of ability to control noxious weeds. The limitations of the organics scheme standards is discussed in light of the practicalities of farming in the Falkland Islands whilst acknowledging the benefits organics has added to farming practices. The inconsistencies in standards internationally are also discussed and the implications this has on how functional the schemes are within each country

Speakers
DS

Dr Susan Swaney

Technical services livestock, Virbac
Susan Swaney has worked for Virbac in the Livestock Department as a technical services manager since 2011. Prior to this she spent three years in the Falkland Islands working as a veterinary officer for the Falkland Island Department of Agriculture. From 1985-2007 she ran a practice... Read More →


Wednesday May 25, 2016 11:00 - 11:30 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre

11:30 ACST

Influence of soil ecology on animal health and welfare
Soil ecology is a major determinant of animal health and welfare through its influence on the quality and quantity of nutrition available to grazing livestock. Our understanding of this and the role we have will be discussed using examples

Speakers
avatar for Colin Trengove

Colin Trengove

Lecturer Production Animal Health, University of Adelaide
Colin is a lecturer in ruminant health and production at the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Roseworthy campus, University of Adelaide. He is a graduate of Murdoch Uni in 1979; MVS from Melbourne Uni in 1991; and working on a PhD from Adelaide Uni in 2019. A career interest... Read More →


Wednesday May 25, 2016 11:30 - 12:30 ACST
City Room 3 Adelaide Convention Centre
 
Thursday, May 26
 

14:00 ACST

How can certification schemes promote 'good life' and improve health?
Certification schemes that aim to provide an assurance on animal welfare have been developed in many countries. As part of a large collaborative project AssureWel, Bristol has been looking at methods to increase the potential welfare impact of schemes. As part of that work we have developed a set of four best practice principles that should help schemes deliver promotion of positive welfare (good life) and limit harms (minimise poor health outcomes). Firstly the scheme can operate a management system that co-ordinates scheme activities which actively promote improvement in animal welfare within participating farms. This management system should include the following generic steps: plan (establish the objectives including desired outcomes, scheme requirements and monitoring processes), do (implement scheme inspection systems and support structures), check (measure and monitor the process and results) and improve (take action to improve performance). Secondly the scheme should develop progressive resources and outcomes requirements that comply with relevant legislation, encourage the provision of opportunities valued by the animals, promote farm level continuous improvement in important welfare outcomes and require innovation not to compromise welfare goals. Thirdly the scheme should target its assessment and support resources on important welfare concerns. Activities should include assessment of relevant welfare requirements and outcomes, promoting interest amongst farmers in their management, ensuring technical advice is available and insisting on remedial action for those farmers with consistent poor outcomes. Finally by taking an evidence-based, participatory and transparent approach the scheme should also embrace external scrutiny and involvement. These principles certification schemes should help schemes adopt a systematic scheme level continuous improvement approach, as already used in quality and environmental certification schemes, to promote improvement at a farm level. These principles could also inform the development of an international agreed standard that could facilitate trade in higher animal welfare products

Speakers
avatar for Professor David Main

Professor David Main

Professor of Animal Welfare, University of Bristol
David Main is a Head of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group and Professor of Animal Welfare at the University of Bristol Veterinary School. His research interests include welfare assessment, intervention strategies to improve welfare and animal welfare education in farm and companion... Read More →


Thursday May 26, 2016 14:00 - 15:00 ACST
Room L3 Adelaide Convention Centre

15:00 ACST

Urolithiasis in Ruminants – Prevention and Management
An understanding of the aetiology of urolithiasis has virtually eliminated the condition in large commercial beef feedlots. However, the condition still occurs in opportunity feedlots and in lamb feedlots. The reasons for this can lie in prior supplementation history and the mineral concentrations of stock water in extensive grazing systems prior to introduction to concentrate feeding, inappropriate diet formulations, the feeding of concentrates separate to roughage, and possibly in extended feeding periods associated with inadequate dietary nutrient density and poor feeding practices

Speakers
avatar for Paul Cusack

Paul Cusack

Principal, Australian Livestock Production Services
Veterinarian, ruminant nutritionist and beef producer. Science and Veterinary Science degrees from Sydney University, Masters and PhD from Queensland University, and a fellow of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Ruminant Nutrition. Adjunct Professor with the Veterinary... Read More →


Thursday May 26, 2016 15:00 - 16:00 ACST
Room L3 Adelaide Convention Centre