Wednesday 23 June
ANZCVS NZ network breakfast | 7.15am
Value of the sheep and beef society to the industry | Sam McIvor | 8.30am
Māori agribusiness and the development of Aotearoa’s sheep milk industry | Craig Pritchard | 9am
This presentation will describe, interpret and explain the past, present and likely future of Aotearoa’s emerging sheep dairy sector. In partiuclar it highlights and explores the contributions to date of Māori entrepreneurs and agribusiness organizations and how they have and are shaping the new, high value and customer focused sector’s develpment. After the sessions those attending can expect take away insights into how new and alternative animal sectors develop in Aotearoa.
Lessons from sheep dairy systems | Ginny Dodunski | 9.30am
New Zealand’s sheep dairy scene is changing from a cottage industry towards more mainstream, commercial farming businesses that supply one of two processors in the North Island. Ginny’s paper covers veterinary clinical aspects of the knowledge she has gained from six years of working intensively with two large sheep dairy farms in the central North Island, and more recently, with a growing number of smaller suppliers to one of the main sheep milk processors.
Challenges and large-scale deer farming – Rangitaiki Station | Sam Bunny | 10.30am
An overview of Rangtaiki’s journey of farming one of New Zealand’s largest venison breeding and finishing operations discussing the challenges it faced and solutions to be successful. This will go into large scale logistics and efficiencies, people, animal health challenges, and farm performance. From an industry level we will go through some of the challenges the industry in my view faces moving forward. This will include environmental challenges, Covid and market volatility, cost of capital, feed conversion efficiency and the threat of alternative land use.
Reproductive productivity of red deer hinds: identifying and reducing wastage | Geoff Asher 11am
Red deer hinds have long breeding lives (>10 years) and are capable of successfully rearing a singleton calf annually following puberty at 16 months of age. However, farmed herds in NZ seldom achieve the biological potential of their breeding hind herds due to various forms of reproductive wastage occurring at different times during the annual reproductive cycle. This paper describes the outcomes of studies conducted over 40 years on identifying the nature and causes of reproductive wastage in red deer herds, and discusses options for minimising such wastage to improve overall reproductive outcomes on NZ farms. It principally focusses on puberty failure, hind conception rates, foetal mortality and neonatal mortality.
The 100kg weaner – combining genetics and nutrition to transform our venison production system | David Stevens | 11.30am
The concept of the 100 kg weaner was proposed over 15 years ago. This was suggested as an aspirational target to guide genetic and nutritional research. Reaching such a target would potentially transform the venison industry as it would provide product from animals of 6 to 8 months of age, before their first winter. This then reduces the costs of wintering, and at the same time may enable an increase in hind numbers. Changes in meat quality may also result from the very young age of the animals and so new value chains may be developed. We review a recent experiment that has provided a proof-of-concept to demonstrate the combination of current genetic resources with nutritional knowledge to achieve weaners of saleable carcase weights before their first winter. We examine the potential farm systems changes that may result. We developed a programme to capture benefits of genetic merit, hind size, hind condition, and nutritional regimes (Table 1). By targeting these key elements of potential future deer farming we aimed to demonstrate techniques that could be incorporated into future farm systems configurations for venison production. Hinds had a calculated breeding value of +10 kg for progeny 12 month-of-age liveweight. The stags used had an average breeding value of +13.3 kg and +16.8 kg for progeny at 6 and 12 months of age respectively. Initial data analysis suggests that active managements could grow approximately 30-40% of weaners to provide carcases of over 50kg before winter using todays genetics. The paper will investigate the potential farm systems implications of being able to quit these animals before winter.
Unlocking greater profit potential in beef cattle by understanding and utilising genetic tools available | Amy Hoogenboom | 12pm
The veterinarian’s traditional role puts them in a prime place to collect DNA samples during on farm processes and then use DNA-based data both to investigate issues that maybe impacting herd performance and help promote positive production traits within a beef herd. The data genetic testing and tools bring to a cattle operation are only worthwhile if they are used correctly. In New Zealand these tools include parentage, the use of BREEDPLAN Estimated Breeding Values and, more recently, genomic predictions for commercial beef females.
Winter grazing: what does best practice look like? | Rochelle Smith | 1.30pm
The state of environment | Jacqueline Rowarth | 2pm
Environment, efficiency and economics are linked and NZ is in the position of producing animal protein (containing Essential Amino Acids) for lower environmental impact than other countries can achieve. Pre-eminence reflects decades of research and as new technologies become available, farmer adoption means that the footprint decreases. Education is the fourth ‘E’ that is required in the workforce and within society to assist understanding that New Zealand’s remarkable environment is good and getting even better.
Regenerative agriculture | Peter Kalb| 2.30pm
Regenerative agriculture | Gwen Grelet | 3pm
Panel discussion on the environment and regenerative agriculture | Sam Bunny, Gwen Grelet, Peter Kalb, Sam McIvor, Jacqueline Rowarth, Charlotte Westwood | 4pm
This panel discussion will help veterinarians understand what regenerative agriculture is and how it compares (advantages and/or disadvantages) to current NZ ag practice. It will also cover what role veterinarians can play in regenerative agriculture and how they can help their clients by understanding more.
Deer Veterinarian's Branch of the NZVA AGM | 5pm
Thursday 24 June
Prevalence of Liver Fluke on the West Coast | Andrew Dowling | 8am
Bulk milk samples from herds supplying Westland Milk Products were analysed in the autumn and spring of consecutive lactations to determine the occurrence of liver fluke infection with 369 sampled on both occasions. GIS mapping of the farm locations indicated geographic grouping of farms with more severe fluke infestations. A short survey reported farmers awareness of liver fluke and drenching practices. This study indicates fasciolosis is common in this region with a disturbing number with a high prevalence in their herds.
Deer parasites | Alex Chambers | 8.30am
FECRT: models, methods and interpreting with confidence | Poppy Miller | 9am
The Faecal Egg Count Reduction Test is used to estimate the efficacy of anthelmintics in gastrointestinal nematode parasites of livestock. We use Monte Carlo sampling to investigate optimal experimental design and statistical models to estimate efficacy uncertainty, probability of resistance and to quantify drench comparisons.
Practical application of CARLA in deer | Jamie Ward | 9.30am
This presentation follows the successful culmination of 10 years of research into the anti-CarLA (carbohydrate larval antigen) IgA response in young deer. It describes the discoveries made in relation to deer, CARLA, parasites, faecal outputs of parasites and growth. The practical implications and application of the discoveries are discussed, and potential future impacts and opportunities noted.
Resistance vs resilience: losing the battle, what about the war? | Andy Greer | 10.30am
A breeders perspective on selecting for resistant sheep | Kate Broadbent | 11am
This presentation describes the journey of moving away from traditional parasite control, towards breeding for resistance to parasites
Genetics as a tool for parasite management | Kathryn McRae | 1.30pm
Current parasite control in sheep relies heavily on the use of anthelmintic treatment; the increasing prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in sheep nematodes throughout the world suggests that this strategy is unsustainable. Sustainable, long-term management of parasites requires an integrated control program, and breeding sheep with an increased ability to resist infection is an important part of this strategy. This presentation will discuss lessons learned from 25 years of research into breeding for parasite resistance in New Zealand sheep, including how we measure resistance, what goes into breeding values and indexes, the relationship with dag score, and whether it is it more appropriate to select animals adapted to a specific environment.
Lamb mortality and clostridial vaccination | Clive Bingham | 2pm
This paper looks at the level and distribution of lamb loss that can occur from docking to pre-lambing as a hogget, on a New Zealand Hill Country Farm and uses vaccination to determine how much of that loss is due to clostridial disease.
Managing BVD in New Zealand cattle herds: updated recommendations | Carolyn Gates | 2.30pm
An estimated 15-25% of dairy herds and 45-55% of beef herds in New Zealand are actively infected with bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus costing the industries more than $150 million per year in direct production losses. This presentation will review the latest research findings from the BVD Free New Zealand project around the most cost-effective strategies for getting and keeping BVD out of your clients’ herds.
Find, contain, control (Mycoplasma bovis)| Amy Burroughs, Grant Matthews | 3pm
Since its first detection in New Zealand in 2017, to date there have been a total of 263 properties confirmed as infected with Mycoplasma bovis. A single total does not reflect the epidemiology of the infection nor the progress the M. bovis Programme has made towards eradication. Here we present the what, where and how surrounding these infected farms as well as an explanation of what lies ahead in terms of achieving the three goals of MPI, DairyNZ, and Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s M. bovis National Plan.
Lamb finishing triple drench resistance | Dave Robertson | 4pm
Sheep and Beef Cattle Veterinarian's Branch of the NZVA AGM | 4.30pm
Measuring the benefits of integrating fixed time AI into commercial beef herds | Enoch Bergman | 5pm
ASHEEP and Swans Veterinary Services of Esperance Western Australia applied for support from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) to conduct a Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) project designed to demonstrate the value of integrating fixed time AI (FTAI) into commercial beef heifer mating programs. Properties enrolled in the PDS were asked to randomly assign half of their replacement heifer population to a FTAI program with the goal of being inseminated on the mating start date, at which time the remaining heifers were exposed to natural service. Ten days later the FTAI integrated heifers rejoined their naturally mated siblings for the remainder of the breeding season and beyond. Conception rates, dystocia rates, heifer mortality, calf mortality, weaning weights and rebreeding rates were collected from each of the properties. The cost of integrating FTAI and natural mating was calculated and a return on investment of the intervention was generated.
Friday 25 June
How to apply the 5 domains in sheep, beef and deer practice | Richard Wild | 8am
Helping farmers manage FE through tradition, ignorance and fake news | Emma Cuttance | 8.30am
We all know what FE is and what is does, yet this disease continues to plague our livestock industries. We are facing a great number of hurdles, the biggest being that the disease is largely sub-clinical so farmers rarely think they have a problem in the first place, let alone being able to associate a cost to it. Our job is to bring some industry consistency to its management and focus on gathering individual farm information to guide decisions. This presentation runs through these steps.
Abortions in New Zealand sheep | Geoff Orbell | 8.50am
This presentation will discuss diagnostics for infectious causes of abortions in sheep in New Zealand including the most common historical causes and some of the more recently identified pathogens such Chlamydia pecorum and Helicobacter.
A short story on selenium supplementation and safety | Kim Kelly | 9.10am
There are a myriad of selenium containing animal remedies on the market. For years vets have been encouraging their farmers to only use one form of selenium at a time. However, a recent review of literature has highlighted there are some simple rules of thumb, and perhaps we are being too conservative? This paper discusses the history, reason, mechanisms, dose rates, effectiveness and toxicity risks associated with selenium supplementation in NZ sheep.
Cold and heat stress | Karin Schutz | 9.30am
In my presentation I will talk about the effects of heat and cold stress on the welfare of sheep and beef cattle. I will firstly talk about what we mean by animal welfare, before describing the effects of summer and winter conditions on sheep and beef cattle, including the response to mud. I will also discuss how we can use animal behaviour to understand how animals perceive and interact with their environment.
Working with MPI Animal Welfare | Rachel Fouhy | 10.30am
An insight into working on large scale animal welfare cases on both sheep and beef and dairy farms. Insights from my experience working on farm and when a case goes to court. Tips and tricks for those who end up involved in these cases - the good, the bad and the ugly.
Ewe wastage: what's happening? | Kate Flay | 11am
This presentation will describe the key results from a longitudinal study investigating ewe wastage in a sample of New Zealand commercial flocks. The extent, timing and general cause of ewe wastage will be presented, followed by a discussion of risk factors associated with ewe wastage.
Dealing with the skinny stock farmer | Harley Bowsher | 11.30am
SPCA certified standard for sheep and beef cattle – an introduction | Rob Gregory | 12pm
Consumer expectations around food attributes, including animal welfare provenance, have evolved greatly since SPCA developed its Blue Tick programme. SPCA Certified is an evolution of that programme, based on the Five Domains and covering a wider range of species, including sheep and beef cattle. Using the Five Domains and setting standards beyond minimum legal requirements, allows consumers to have greater confidence in the food they consume and provides farmers with a useful point of differentiation.
Intensive winter grazing – current and future challenges and opportunities | Lindsay Burton, Leonie Ward | 1pm
Ruminant nutrition during tight times | Charlotte Westwood | 1.30pm
Increasingly frequent climatic extremes challenge our ability to consistently and adequately feed farmed ruminants. Pasture and/or crop deficits during summer drought or tough winters can compromise animal performance and wellbeing. Strategic allocation of feed to different stock classes and/or reducing stocking rate reduces feed demand. Feed supply is enhanced by purchasing supplementary forage, concentrate or byproduct feeds. An understanding of nutritional demands of animals coupled with knowledge of strengths/weaknesses of feeds increases the likelihood of successfully navigating through periods of feed deficit.
Drought | Wayne Ricketts, Karen Phillips | 2pm
Supporting clients through a prolonged feed deficit | Greg Tatterfield | 3pm
This paper describes how rural veterinarians can support to their clients through a drought. It highlights the influence vets can have by getting involved and applying their knowledge during a crisis period to lessen the impact on client’s wellbeing, animal production and welfare and mitigate financial loss. Case studies are presented that demonstrate easily adopted methods to engage farmers and enable informed decision making for better outcomes.
Welfare compromise of lifestyle block sheep | Isobel Hammond | 4pm
A case of severe welfare compromise in lifestyle block sheep that occurred due to a number of compounding factors. The case was attended by two veterinarians and two veterinary students, with a significant emotional impact on all involved. This report looks at the welfare standards of the animals, as well as the mental and emotional toll the case had on those involved.
Veltrac | Andrew Scurr | 4.20pm
Pasteurella septicaemia with meningitis in red deer | Oliver Craig | 4.40pmThis presentation details the progress and eventual outcome of an investigation into an outbreak of sudden death in yearling red deer. MPI was involved when the exotic disease haemorrhagic septicaemia was suspected. This case is a good example of the farmer - vet - MPI relationship in detecting exotic diseases.