New veterinary practice laws in WA


Veterinary services in Western Australia will undergo their biggest modernisation in more than 50 years with state Parliament recently passing the Veterinary Practice Bill 2021. The Bill replaces the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1960 and updates the regulation of veterinary medicine in the state to bring the veterinary profession into line with other Australian jurisdictions. The new legislation paves the way for national recognition of veterinarians registered in other Australian jurisdictions, as recommended by the Australian Productivity Commission.


The changes remove barriers to veterinarians working across state borders, facilitating the movement of interstate professionals to assist in emergencies. A restriction that only veterinarians could own veterinary practices has also been removed to align with National Competition Policy principles. WA will now join most other jurisdictions to allow the corporatisation of veterinary practices, similar to the medical and pharmaceutical industries.


In an Australian first, the legislation will also see the state introduce registration of veterinary nurses, recognising the important role and significant responsibilities of this profession. Under the new legislation, the Veterinary Surgeons’ Board of WA will be replaced by a Veterinary Practice Board of Western Australia, with a new constitution and membership to regulate the practice of veterinary medicine in the region. Read more


Arctic dog DNA suggests ancient trade network


Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have analysed DNA from the remains of Siberian dogs and found evidence that ancient Arctic communities traded with the outside world as early as 7,000 years ago.


As reported by ScienceNews, analysis of the DNA shows that Arctic pups thousands of years ago were interbreeding with other dogs from Europe and the Near East even while they and their owners were living in one of the most remote places on Earth. Along with previous archaeological finds, these results suggest that Siberians long ago were connected to a vast trade network that may have extended as far as the Mediterranean and the Caspian Sea.


The research results suggest that Siberians did bring in dogs from the outside world, and this trade network could have helped transmit new ideas and technologies such as metalworking to the Arctic, and may have facilitated Siberian society’s transition from foraging to reindeer herding in the last 2,000 years. “Dogs are a piece of our past. By looking at them, we can learn something about ourselves,” said archaeologist Tatiana Feuerborn. Read more