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  • Matt Playford

Dawbuts Summer Newsletter 2018/19

Biosecurity and infectious disease control are vitally important to the continued success of the Australian livestock industries. Sheep Producers Australia (SPA) recognise the critical importance of emergency disease control and sponsor veterinarians, farmers and other key stakeholders to attend Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) training in Nepal.

Matt traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal in late November 2018 at the invitation of SPA to participate in The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s campaign to prevent Foot and Mouth Disease, known as EuFMD KTC29. The training course took 5 days and was led by FAO veterinarian Dr. Jenny Maud, along with Dr. Danny Goovaerts (pictured left with SPA’s Sheep Health & Welfare Policy Manager Will Oldfield) and Dr. David Paton, both gurus of the FMD control world, Dr. Min Park of the OIE (Office Internationale des Epizoites, the World Organisation for Animal Health) and Dr. Sam Hamilton of Australia’s Dept. of Agriculture.

A feature of the training was real-time investigations on local farms. This gave the team a chance to travel in small groups and visit co-operator farms, observe the animals and conduct clinical examinations, sampling and testing, as well as epidemiological surveys.

Survey team on farm in Dakshinkali. Nepal government veterinarian Dr. Sanjiv Pandit (check shirt) acted as our guide and interpreter. Dr. Danny Paton is in the maroon shirt. One aspect of disease control that really stood out as a major difference to Australia was the biosecurity situation. Because of porous borders with both India and China and herding populations that follow seasonal migrations, animal movement into the country cannot be effectively controlled. This contrasts sharply with Australia’s strict quarantine regime. Added to this, in Nepal farms mostly are without fences and have an acceptance of stray animals (particularly bulls) that wander around towns and villages without restraint (see photo above from Patan, Kathmandu). Tourists and business travellers to Nepal could very easily become exposed to FMD by casual or indirect contact with cattle or other livestock and their products, including milk and faeces (e.g. on their shoes). This means that particular care needs to be taken by all travellers to FMD-endemic countries in order to ensure that the virus is not accidentally brought back to Australia. In the event of an outbreak in Australia, early detection would make the difference between rapid clean-up with a 3 month disruption to trade costing several billion dollars, and a widespread control and eradication campaign taking over a year and costing 50 billion dollars.

Public awareness of the symptoms of FMD and the need to have a veterinarian examine animals and diagnose the cause, is therefore an essential component of Australia’s biosecurity program to prevent emergency animal diseases. Coupled with this is the need for control and eradication of economically-important endemic diseases. We were also fortunate to be able to spend a couple of hours wandering the streets and markets of the town, taking in the sites of the 7 UNESCO-listed World Heritage locations, including Patan Durbar Square (above). The team were constantly impressed with the warm welcome we received. From the bars and temples of Kathmandu, to the small farms out in the countryside, the locals were tolerant of our questions and happy to spend time educating us about their livestock, the vaccination programs and the impact of disease. Added to this were the 6 Nepali veterinarians (including Dr. Khadak Singh Bisht of the FAO), who helped us with our training and field work, Head of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Kathmandu who provided diagnostic testing by serology and PCR, and the Deputy Director of the Dept. of Agriculture, Nepal who heard our final reports and provided high level guidance.

The take-home messages are summarised in the KTC29 team’s ‘Extension Song’, sung to the tune of the famous ‘Kids Alive, Do the Five’ campaign, promoted in Australia by swimming legend Laurie Lawrence. Verse 1 (aimed at Nepali farmers) If they’re sick, it’s too late Prevent FMD, it’s great! Stop the strays, shut the gate And don’t forget to vaccinate! Verse 2 (aimed at Aus farmers) Are they sick, are they lame? Doesn’t matter who’s to blame Do they drool, looking sad?? Call a vet before it gets too bad!! Acknowledgements and thanks United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization European Commission for the Control of Foot & Mouth Disease Nepal Government Dept. of Agriculture & Livestock Production Sheep Producers Australia Australian Government Dept. of Agriculture and Water Resources All of the participants in KTC29 Hollywood comes to Camden!

Camden has long been the favoured haunt of Hollywood stars such as Nicole Kidman (Australia) and Angelina Jolie (Unbroken), as well as being the scene for the much-loved television drama A Place to Call Home. Dawbuts staff had their own taste of the showbiz glamour last week when a film crew led by Duane and Andy, called around to film Phil, Nicole, Adriana and Georgia carrying out parasitology testing on samples submitted by our clients. Maybe some of your samples will share screen time!!? .

Warts on Cattle Young cattle sometimes develop warts. This is due to a collection of viruses, known as Bovine Papillomavirus, that infect the skin. Because it is a virus, the infection can spread from one animal to another. Opportunities for infection come whenever cattle are in close contact, such as yarding, or by some management procedures such as eartagging. To avoid spreading the virus, make sure you disinfectant all instruments such as eartag pliers between uses.The good news is that most wart infections are self-limiting, as the cattle develop immunity to the virus, as well as being naturally more resistant to infection as they age. This means that the warts usually disappear after a few weeks or months.Cattle that develop large warts can get open wounds that become infected or flyblown. These should be treated by a vet. Extensive warts may be an indication that a calf is immune-deficient, as in pestivirus infection. Warts on the teats of dairy cows can cause irritation and predispose the cattle to mastitis.It is important to distinguish warts from other skin diseases such as ringworm (caused by a fungus) and Stephanofilaria, a parasitic worm that is carried by buffalo flies and causes a raised lump that is very irritating to the animal.

The RHYS O’SHEA Christmas Classic P/B DAWBUTS The clouds cleared and blue skies beckoned as 34 riders took to the demanding Moreton Park Rd course at Menangle, NSW, for the inaugural Rhys O’Shea Christmas Classic p/b Dawbuts, held by Camden Cycle Club.

Grades A and B keeping an eye on each other along Moreton Park Rd. Rhys O’Shea started riding as a junior with Macarthur (now Camden) Cycling Club, then rode for Sydney Uni Velo in NRS races. He was a familiar figure on the road in the Camden area, riding with many of our current bunchmates, accumulating countless KOMs (King of the Mountain Prizes) along the way. Rhys was tragically killed while riding his bike in August 2017. During his life he made a massive contribution to the Camden cycling scene that is felt by us today and will continue to live on. He is fondly remembered for his friendly nature, commitment to family and friends, support for younger riders and his community spirit, lived out by his job as a social worker. Rhys drank short blacks (or water), kept bees and was a keen gardener.

Rhys O’Shea (2nd from right) with Sydney University Velo Club members. To share the inspiration we feel from having known Rhys, the Christmas Classic race is named in tribute to him. The occasion was used to promote road safety and supporting each other as riders out on the road.

Good Luck Tim! Tim is in his final year of studying a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Sydney, and Dawbuts has had the pleasure of Tim’s company whilst he’s completed his placement with us. We would like to say a big thankyou to Tim for all his hard work and enthusiastic approach to learning, and wish him all the best with his future endeavors.

Dawbuts turns to more sustainable packaging In mid November, we received our new order of clamshell containers from the manufacturer in Western Sydney. You might not notice a difference, as they still look the same and have the same functionality. However, they have changed significantly. Our new clamshells are now made from 80% recycled polyethylene terephthalate, rPET. It is recycled from items such as soft drink bottles. By using recycled PET, CO2 emission is reduced by 52%. Once used and cleaned, the clamshell can be recycled in the yellow bin collected by local council each week. This now means that the majority of packaging used in our WEC kits is now either made from recycled material and / or is able to be recycled itself. This puts Dawbuts one step closer to reducing our environmental footprint.

Life After the HSC – Georgia Smith After a whirlwind 12 months I have finally completed my HSC! I am looking forward to furthering my education at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga next year, after gaining entry into a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. Senior school was a very fond time and with it arose many opportunities. I was lucky enough to complete my work placement with the team at Dawbuts towards the end of last year (as highly lighted in the 2017 Spring Newsletter). Being completely immersed in such a fascinating work environment that I had never had the chance to experience before was highly rewarding, gaining new knowledge and on the completion of my placement I was lucky enough to be offered a casual position as a Lab assistant. The days in the lab at Dawbuts are never the same. There are always plenty of different tests that are coming in from all of our wonderful customers (that is you!) and there is so much to learn. I am very privileged to be working in a team full of incredibly knowledgeable and highly respected people in the industry. I look forward to spending more time in the lab early next year before university commences. I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, hopefully bringing with it some much needed rain.

Matt & Sandy on Wagyu Tasting Tour of Japan December 2018

In December Matt & Sandy attended the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Camden Rotary Club’s sister club, Kawaguchi Rotary Club, which were held in the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo. After the event, they headed north to the coastal city of Ishinomaki, much of which was destroyed in 2011 due to the severe earthquake and tsunami which hit the area. Kawaguchi RC, along with Camden RC helped the local Rotary club members supply much-needed equipment to a local school which had been destroyed in the tsunami.

Along they way they sampled home-cooked sukiyaki, utilising fresh veges from the local farm and Ibaraki beef in Lake Hinuma, as well as wagyu fillets topped with sea urchin roe (uni) in Sendai. Towadako (pictured above right) is a 60 sq. km crater lake in the mountains of Aomori Prefecture in northern Honshu. There is a small tourist resort on the southwestern shore which is a great base for exploring the national park, mountains, art galleries and farms of the region. The Oirase River gorge, which flows out of the lake, is worth the trip on its own. Parasitologist in the making! Nicole attended the ASP Concepts in Parasitology course at ANUs Kioloa campus. She was fortunate enough to work with prominent Australian parasitologists and learn advanced research techniques.Learn More

Wagyu up to? Earlier in November, Adriana attended the Australian Waygu Association Workshop in Armidale. This was a great opportunity to meet with industry leaders around the country. The focus of the of the conference highlighted strategies to increase marbling score including early weaning strategies, nutrition and selecting for genetics. A friendly reminder… We love receiving samples off our customers – but we would also love to know who they belong to! When preparing to send a sample through to us, we kindly ask that all details on the form inside the kit are filled out. This will mean quicker processing in the lab, and invoices out sooner. Price changes for 2019 We would also like to let our customers know that from Jan 2019 there will be a price increase across all of our Laboratory tests. These prices will be available on the website in the new year. Any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact the friendly team at Dawbuts.

And that’s a wrap! Dawbuts would like to thank all their clients for their support for the past year. We would also like to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the new year!

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