Veterinary Pathology Workshop - National Training Needs & Mechanisms
8th - 9th February 2007, University of Sydney, Camden
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This workshop was convened with the Commonwealth Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Animal Health Australia.
More than fifty people attended the workshop in the new General Teaching Building at Camden over two days with practicing veterinary pathologists from the private sector, government laboratories and academia attending along with representatives from government and livestock industries. Mr David Palmer, Managing Director, Meat & Livestock Australia along with Professor Dan Gould DVM PhD Diplomat ACVP, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, presented industry and academie perspectives about the future of veterinary pathology. Professor Reuben Rose was appointed to facilitate the workshop.
The Australian community expects the highest standards of animal health. The support of a diagnostic laboratory system able to detect new and emerging diseases, exotic diseases and changes in prevalence of endemic diseases is required. Diagnostic laboratories need to offer accurate and relevant scientific interpretation of laboratory results to animal health industries. There is a need to employ people in diagnostic laboratories with specialist knowledge relevant to livestock industries and provide those people with both ongoing livestock disease training and a career path. Pathologists, microbiologists and parasitologists are an aging demographic in veterinary laboratories, with many approaching retirement.
It is important that those leaving the profession pass their knowledge on to the next generation and that those entering the system are adequately trained. However, the number of laboratory diagnosticians currently in training programs is low and those employed have limited opportunity for continuing diagnostic training. The critical shortage of veterinary specialists is occurring in laboratories, but similar shortages are present in non-veterinarian scientists and both groups should benefit from training initiatives. Recommendations from the workshop informed the National Animal Health Laboratory Strategy.