Thursday 18 November

8am: Introduction: LAVT - where we have been and where we are going | Mark Bryan & Kate Gloyn
Summary from Kate Gloyn and Mark Bryan on how the LAVT was started and what we have achieved in the 9 years since the inception of the LAVT.

8.20am: Inspiring technicians | Mark Bryan & Kate Gloyn
Technicians have come such a long way since the days of the merged nurse/technician/receptionist role and have carved a valuable space in the veterinary industry. There is still so much more that technicians can be doing and adding to their roles to create this as an even more exciting career path so we are looking to inspire this thinking and energy for LAVT’s further.

8.40am: Salary survey results | Justine Britton

9am: Discussion: What are teams doing to promote resilience, leadership and a positive team culture | Jess Rees, Justine Britton, Kim Basitaansen & Pete Gallacher

10.30am: Passive transfer of antibodies to calves from dams vaccinated with Salvexin B | Alistair Kenyon & Amanda Kilby
A randomized controlled trial was carried out on a commercial dairy farm in Canterbury in 2019 to investigate S. Typhimurium colostral antibody transfer following vaccination with Salvexin+B at dry-off (PSC -75) or pre-calving (PSC -28). Vaccination conferred significantly more S. Typhimurium colostral antibodies to calves compared with leaving dams unvaccinated. There was no difference between the dry-off and pre-calving groups. The effect of vaccination was significant despite background seropositivity of S. Typhimurium in the study herd and a failure of passive transfer rate of 30%.

10.50am: Effect of preservatives on bacteria and nutritonal comp in colostrum | Emma Cuttance
Approximately 2L of first milking colostrum was collected from 10 farms in the Waikato and into 5 sub-samples, randomly allocated to a control, or treated with a yoghurt preservative, potassium sorbate preservative or citric acid preservative. This study investigates the effect of each of the preservatives on aerobic bacteria, coliforms, Lactobacillus sp. Streptococcus thermophillus pH, brix, protein, fat and anhydrous lactose over time.

11.10am: Beyond bobbies: a life worth living for dairy calves | Ina Pinxterhuis
Currently approximately 35% of dairy calves born alive in New Zealand are processed as bobby calves. Reducing this proportion is a ‘wicked problem’, with complex barriers to be overcome and a wide range of stakeholders. Nonetheless, we need to be prepared for changing consumer expectations and identify pathways for progress that optimise public and farmer acceptance, economic viability across the value chain, welfare of cows and calves, and environmental impact. Can a co-innovation approach help us to achieve this?

11.30am: Do calves actually feed from their dams? | Emma Cuttance
An observational study carried out on eight farms in the Waikato (n=4) and Canterbury (n=4) in 2019 and 2020 observed 697 calves being born, standing and feeding. Calves were blood tested before and after the farmer had provided colostrum. This study unravels whether calves actually feed, possible risk factors to this and how successful it is in combination with the farmer management.

12pm: Proactive calf rearing programmes | Mara Elton

1.30pm: Drenching dairy heifers: the science | Abi Chase
Anthelmintics are non prescription drugs that are often administered to animals with no veterinary advice. We now know that, in order to reduce selection for resistance, that maximizing refugia while optimizing productivity is where we want to be. In order to successfully achieve this balance, knowledge of parasitology, epidemiology, pharmacology and animal nutrition et cetera, are key. Is it time for science to return to drenching?

2pm: Cross-fit for heifers? Transition management and lameness control | Winston Mason

2.30pm: Impact of a calf scours vaccine on colostral immunoglobulins| Greg Chambers
Calves are born without protective immunoglobulins provided by the cow in utero, so a sufficient volume of colostrum of adequate quality must be consumed within 6-12 hours of birth. We enrolled cows that were either vaccinated or not with a calf scours vaccine into a cohort study and showed that vaccinated cows had concentrations of particular immunoglobulin classes that were elevated beyond what was explained by increased concentrations of vaccine-specific immunoglobulins. The vaccine, in addition to its current indication for managing infectious calf diarrhoea, may also have potential for improving calf health through increased colostrum immunoglobulin concentrations.

2.50pm: Targeted selective anthelmintic treatment of dairy heifers: effects on performance | Andrew Bates
This study reports the results from a field trial looking at the effect of targeted selective anthelmintic treatment on dairy heifer weight at mating. Animals receiving fewer doses of anthelmintic had lower weights at mating. However, differences were small and there was no evidence for differences in worm burden or excretion of worm eggs. This suggests there are opportunities to reduce anthelmintic use and delay resistance but techniques to identify which animals to treat need to be perfected.

3.10pm: BVD testing in calves - maternal Abs | Scott McDougall

4pm: Surviving clinical errors in practice | Brett Gartrell

4.30pm: Risks in practice: a VPIS perspective | Steve Cranefield

4.50pm: Farmstrong - support for rural communities | TBC

5.10pm: GoodYarn in Practice – talking the talk and walking the walk | Emma Franklin
GoodYarn is an evidence-based, peer-delivered, mental health literacy programme for workplaces, both rural and urban, that enables people to talk about mental health. Anexa Veterinary Services was the first veterinary practice in New Zealand to attain a licence to deliver GoodYarn workshops to their staff. This presentation outlines the rollout of the GoodYarn programme at Anexa and how it has benefitted both their staff and clients.

Friday 19 November

8am: Ultrasound pregnancy testing for technicians | Steve Cranefield
Accurate pregnancy testing of cattle and foetal ageing +/- 5 days of the true date is essential for herd management. In this interactive workshop we will review the equipment, look at the risks to both techs and cows, go through the ageing process and give it a go using videos and interactive models.  

9.15am: Detection and treatment of endometritis for technicians | Steve Cranefield
Early detection and treatment of endometritis is an important step toward good herd reproductive performance. In this interactive workshop we will review the science, understand why cows get endometritis and have a go at passing pipettes using interactive models.

10.30am: Plenary | Sam Hazeldine

11.30am: Mitigating pain responses in goat kids during and post-disbudding | Winston Mason
Disbudding is a necessary evil currently in the milking goat industry that results in a significant pain response during and after the disbudding process. This study investigates four methods of mitigating pain; a ring-block using local anaesthetic, a novel local anaethetic injector, a vapocoolant agent, and injectable general anaesthesia. Pain and stress responses were measured by movement and vocalisation during anaesthetic administration and disbudding, behavioural responses up to 24 hours post-disbudding, and serum cortisol concentrations.

11.50am: Tail scoring and the five domains of welfare | Rick Nortje & Mark Bryan
Damaged tails are a significant animal welfare concern throughout the national dairy herd. A review of available tail score data will be presented as well as the current industry standard tail scoring methodology. A brief overview of the The Five Domains Model as reconfigured will be presented. This update now provides an explicit means to effectively and systematically evaluate the animal welfare implications of a wide range of human–animal interactions.

12.10pm: Animal health to wellbeing: where do vet techs fit in? | Katie Saunders

1.30pm: Attitudes to pain | Emma Cuttance

2.10pm: Restraint | Peter Gallacher & Tim Scotland

2.40pm: Lab session - FEC, milk cultures, calf scours, FPT/BRIX, nitrate, FECRT interpretation, triple resistance case study | TBC

4pm: Conference wrap up

4.30pm: Large Animal Veterinary Technicians of the NZVA AGM