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Food Safety, Animal Welfare & Biosecurity

Select the links below to view the session details. Sessions will be updated as information becomes available.

Wednesday 20 June

The Food Safety, Animal Welfare and Biosecurity stream and Epidemiology stream will join together for this day. The Dairy Cattle stream will join from 11.30am - 12.30pm.

This paper will determine New Zealand pet owners’ current level of preparedness for natural hazards in relation to themselves and their pets. The results will provide emergency management professionals and veterinarians with information to improve the resilience of people and pets to nature’s challenges.

We review the current knowledge on climate change impact on the distribution, incidence and severity of livestock diseases currently endemic in New Zealand and on livestock welfare, and discuss how this can be prioritised and studied further to help preparedness, using facial eczema as an example.

Tanzania is a hotspot for zoonotic enteric pathogens, including Non-Typhoid Salmonella and Campylobacter. I will use this example to illustrate a multidisciplinary approach to understand emerging livestock meat pathways and associations with human disease. With microbiological testing and epidemiological modelling, social science provides deeper understanding into food safety in Tanzania’s rapidly modernizing meat supply chain.

Influenza risk assessment models can be used to identify priority viruses and target surveillance and control. FLURISK is an avian influenza risk assessment framework that assesses the potential of new influenza viruses or viral subtypes crossing from avian into humans. This paper discusses results from an evaluation exercise of FLURISK.

Epidemiological analysis are often accessed and utilized by non-specialists that may have limited understanding of the complexity and assumptions behind used methods. Interactive user interfaces facilitate layered and customized interactions with epidemiological outputs, enabling users to access and focus on the specific information.

The paper will present a summary of what is known about Mycoplasma bovis in other countries, particularly over the past 10 years when it appears to have become more important in several places. The paper will include a discussion of what was known about Mycoplasma disease in cattle in New Zealand prior to the outbreak in 2017.

As part of the MPI Mycoplasma bovis response, one of the primary challenges has been reliable detection of the agent in drystock, particularly the many trace calves that form animal movements from infected properties. This talk will discuss the challenges of detecting this agent in calves and young drystock, and will cover the formal MPI recommendations for commercial testing, and their rationale.

Understanding what good animal welfare is and how it can be assessed across a range of environments must be a key priority for ensuring the health and welfare of animals in their association with humans. Until recently animal welfare assessment traditionally relied on measures of physical health, and changes in behaviour and physiology related to negative emotional states such as pain and stress. We now recognize that good welfare is not simply the absence of disease or negative experiences, but also the possibility for, and presence of, positive emotional experiences such as pleasure and even happiness. To ensure that an animal’s welfare needs are met, we need to develop reliable methods for recognizing and assessing the range of animal emotions, as well as judge their importance from the animal’s point of view.

This paper is a worldwide first presenting the key personality characteristics of veterinarians who have proved themselves job fit by surviving more than 30 years in clinical practice. It is suggested that such evidence will better inform the process of selection for admission to veterinary school.

Members of the NZVA and VPIS are encouraged to attend.

Summary to come.

This talk will cover examples of how PAMU is applying one health principles on farm.

Members of the Epidemiology Branch Branch of the NZVA and the Food Safety, Animal Welfare and Biosecirty Branch of the NZVA are encouraged to attend.

Thursday 21 June

Failure to plan for animals in disasters can result in chaotic, inefficient and uncoordinated responses because of the human-animal bond. Animal owners will often refuse to be evacuated if they cannot take their animals. Veterinarians can have an important role in disaster preparedness, animal rescue and triage of injured animals.

The ‘Five Domains’ has largely superseded the ‘Five Freedoms’ for scientific welfare assessment. Emerging benefits in the veterinary context include providing a comprehensive, transparent and evidence-based system for organizing and presenting evidence of welfare impacts/benefits and encouraging owners and vets to look for opportunities to promote positive experiences for animals.

Even though there is wide agreement about promoting animal welfare, understood as what matters from animals’ own perspectives, there are significant developments and disagreements concerning what welfare is and the relative weight of e.g. negative versus positive welfare. These developments and disagreements will be systematically presented and discussed.

The UK Farm Animal Welfare Committee suggested that promotion of good life (positive welfare) should be considered with avoidance of harm. The opportunities of a policy shift would include an alignment of livestock carer’s pride in animal welfare and positive consumer purchasing decisions. Innovation in policy also depends on development of measures for positive welfare.

Alleviation of pain. What have we done well in the last 20 years? What have we done badly? What have we not done at all? Should we spend the next 20 years developing techniques for the lucky few species that are already well served or would our efforts be better spent on the situations that are languishing?

The New Zealand dairy industry strategy, Dairy Tomorrow, calls for farmers to provide world leading animal care. How and why do farmers who currently deliver the best care in New Zealand, do what they do? And how can all our farmers build a culture on-farm to deliver on this commitment? - Helen Thoday, Jenny Jago, Katherine DeWitt.

When considering goat welfare, it pays to remember they are not small cows. In fact, goats show a surprising number of differences to cows. For example: what is effective pain mitigation for disbudding, preferred bedding and feeding systems for dairy cattle cannot be simply transferred across as the best solution for goats.

A significant challenge in animal health and welfare is the adoption of best practice. However, traditional top-down technology transfer approaches are often ineffective. However a move towards a facilitated multi-actor practice-led approach (e.g. Hennovation) that can embrace the complexity of modern farming systems and value the co-learning amongst farmers, scientists and advisors is likely to be more effective.

Specialty products with animal welfare standards beyond what is legally required can be important means to enhance farm animal welfare. Based on existing literature and our own research the efficiency and relevance of different ways of using the market to improve animal welfare will be assessed.

New Zealand recently introduced its first care and conduct animal welfare regulations. This is a significant milestone for our legislation, but what does it actually mean for animal welfare? Farmers and others have to meet these regulations in complex operating environments, and must all work together to achieve change.

This talk will cover how we implemented the infringement regime for the new bobby calf regulations as a model and the outcomes.

International concern for animal welfare continues to grow with increasing demand for measures to protect animals and improve animal quality of life and an expectation that veterinarians worldwide should recognize the responsible role they play in promoting and advancing standards of animal welfare. Although human welfare, social welfare, and animal welfare have traditionally been seen as distinct disciplines, a new integrating concept, ‘One Welfare’, has been proposed as a way forward for exploring and explaining the inter-connectedness of human and animal welfare. This concept is especially relevant when devising and implementing interventions for developing knowledge and practice related to improving standards of animal welfare in communities where animals and people live in close proximity and/or co-dependently, and where health and welfare for both are of concern and likely to be inter-related.

No-one wants to be fat or have a fat companion, but still obesity in both humans and their companion animals is a significant problem. This paper will present ways in which human factors affect companion animal obesity and how insights from the study of human obesity can benefit companion animals.

Veterinarians often undertake considerable “emotion work” in order to support clients deal with grief of losing their companion animals. Understanding and working with (rather than confronting) the emotions of clients is also important for communication skills. A recent project at Bristol has explored the potential application of an evidence-based technique called motivational interviewing.


Field Trip & Breakfast
Social Activities
Your Stay

The conference is organised and hosted by the New Zealand Veterinary Association.

You can contact us here.

Thank you to our Industry Partners

Bayer NZ Ltd
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Provet NZ Pty Ltd
SVS Veterinary Supplies

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Masterpet Corporation Ltd
Royal Canin
Troy Laboratories (NZ) Ltd
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Flexi Cards Ltd
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International Animal Health Products
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Shoof International Ltd

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