News Bites for 19 February 2022

Australian cattle herd expected to grow by 1.1 million in 2022

 

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) have forecast that the number of cattle in the national herd will grow by 1.1 million in 2022 as a result of above-average rainfall predictions for New South Wales and parts of Queensland. The increased supply will see cattle slaughter numbers increase by 11% this year, with production volumes expected to reach 2.08 million tonnes – a positive sign for export markets.

 

“Herds in the southern states of New South Wales and Victoria will mature favourably, with large numbers of high-quality young breeding females and heifers joined to deliver a large cohort of calves for the 2022 spring. Females will be well-nourished from abundant and good quality pastures, promoting favourable growing conditions,” said MLA Market Information Manager Stephen Bignell.

 

“As many countries continue to recover from the pandemic, demand for Australian beef is expected to grow in line with improving supply of cattle from the second half of 2022. However, headwinds remain for the industry in 2022 with transportation, staff shortages and the potential for the Australian dollar to appreciate are all challenges for the industry to manage.” Full story: MLA

 

Wildlife Victoria seeks vets trained in tranquiliser dart use

 

Wildlife Victoria is seeking Victorian veterinarians to join a program of veterinary tranquiliser darters to attend in-field cases on an ad-hoc ‘fee-for-service’ basis as part of emergency response services.

 

On a typical deployment, veterinary darters will be accompanied by a trained wildlife rescuer with skills in macropod rescue and incident management. As the majority of macropod cases are time-critical, the closest available rescuer and veterinary darter would be tasked to respond.

 

The management of macropod rescue cases will at times extend beyond the darting and immediate clinical management of chemically immobilised animals. In such cases, veterinarians on site will be required to administer necessary therapy and, where applicable, approve the transfer of animals to wildlife care shelters. In many cases, euthanasia on site is a necessary action on welfare grounds. Learn more or apply here.

 

Survey about government veterinary careers

 

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), one of the largest employers of veterinarians in the country, are reviewing their approach to veterinary employment.

 

Government veterinarians play an essential role in providing advice and support on animal health matters, including biosecurity and global trade, so it is critical to ensure that enough veterinarians are available to work within the sector in the future.

 

DAWE are inviting non-government veterinarians to participate in a new survey, with the results being used to help inform the department’s future veterinary recruitment and retention strategies. Full story: DAWE

 

“Cat-astrophes” averted in two countries

 

Animal rescuers in two different countries are being celebrated for averting “cat-astrophes” after saving two different cats stuck at great heights.

 

As reported by Sippican Week, a hapless squirrel-chasing cat in New York required rescuing after finding itself stranded 10 metres up a tree, and unable or unwilling to retrace its steps back down. The Rochester Fire Department was called to the rescue because, as drolly noted on the department’s Facebook page, “the squirrel did not stick around to assist.”

 

Meanwhile, in Vatican City, firefighters were called to rescue a cat that became stuck 13 metres above ground on the famous colonnade surrounding St Peter’s Square. Vatican City firefighters ascended to the top of the structure several times in an attempt to grab the cat from its precarious perch, eventually coaxing the animal into safely making its own way down, where it was promptly scooped up by Vatican safety personnel.