Young vets visit AFBI

Pictured at the event L-R, Martsje Hell (Firmount Vet Clinic), Des Thompson (retired), Maria Guelbenzu (AFBI) and Rachel Frew (Downe Veterinary Clinic)
Pictured at the event L-R, Martsje Hell (Firmount Vet Clinic), Des Thompson (retired), Maria Guelbenzu (AFBI) and Rachel Frew (Downe Veterinary Clinic)

The Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) has hosted a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) event for the Young Vet Network (NI) of the British Veterinary Association.

The aim of the event, organised by staff of AFBI’s Disease Surveillance and Investigation Branch, is to inform recent veterinary graduates about the AFBI’s animal disease surveillance service.

A series of short and practical talks were followed by a post-mortem demonstration. Dr Stanley McDowell, Director of AFBI’s Veterinary Sciences Division highlighted the statutory, disease surveillance and research work carried out in the division. Dr McDowell explained the critical importance of AFBI’s emergency response role in helping to protect the local industry against threats from serious animal diseases. Dr Maria Guelbenzu, Head of the Disease Surveillance and Investigation Branch, outlined the services provided by AFBI to vets in practice. Pauline Baird of AFBI’s Omagh veterinary laboratory provided the recent graduates with practical advice on how to investigate outbreaks of pneumonia in farm animals. Dr Jason Barley gave an overview of the laboratory methods used to identify the many possible causes of abortion in farm animals while Clare Holmes explained the operation of AFBI’s accredited Cattle Health Scheme which is open to all farmers and their vets to help in the control of several of the most economically important diseases of cattle. In presenting the results from a survey of anthelmintic resistance in liver fluke and gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep in Northern Ireland, Professor Bob Hanna highlighted the emerging problem of anthelmintic resistance.

Finally, Catherine Forsythe gave a talk on the diagnosis and control of Neospora infection in cattle which is an important cause of abortion in cattle herds. The talks were followed by a demonstration on how to conduct an animal post-mortem demonstration by Tony Patterson.