Focus on Food Safety
23rd August 2004, University of Sydney
More than 50 delegates from 25 organisations attended a Faculty workshop on Food Safety and Farmed Animals held on 23rd August 2004, convened by Professor Richard Whittington. The seminar was a tangible demonstration of the Faculty’s commitment to producing graduates and researchers able to meet the needs of Australia’s future production animal industries. Australia’s red meat industries alone could lose $AUD billions per annum in the event of a crisis in consumer confidence, and in the last ten years worldwide, human disease, sometimes in outbreak form, causing death due to exposure to animals or consumption of animal products has been observed. Examples include BSE or mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), Nipah virus in pigs, E. coli O157 in ground meat and hepatis A virus in oysters.
Keynote speaker was Professor Will Hueston, Director, Centre for Animal Health and Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota. Other internationally-recognised experts included Professor Ian Gardner, Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of California, Davis, Dr Bob Biddle, Australian Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia, Canberra and Mr Ian Jenson, Food Safety Program Manager, Meat & Livestock Australia.
The workshop provided the Faculty with a clear message that it has a significant impact in ensuring the well-being of the community through the role of veterinarians in food safety. The workshop was sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Meat and Livestock Australia, Rabo Bank, Australian Meat Industry Council, Australian Biosecurity CRC and the Faculty’s Veterinary Public Health Management Program.