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Sheep, beef & deer speakers

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Ben is a sheep and beef veterinarian with North Canterbury Veterinary Clinics, in the Hawarden/Waikari region. Prior to this he was a technical veterinarian for PGG Wrightson in the South Island where he was involved with several projects looking into the role of phosphorus, vitamin D, dietary protein levels and animal management, on growth rates in young cattle on fodder beet crops, osteomalacia lesions in dairy cattle fed fodder beet, and the incidence of metabolic disease in dairy cows transitioned off fodder beet wintering systems. Research for these projects led Ben to a published observation of a potential role for Vitamin D deficiency in the susceptibility of women to pelvic floor disorders and this work set him on the road to setting up a clinical investigation exploring the relationship between injectable Vitamin A, D and E and vaginal prolapse in North Canterbury sheep.

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After graduating from Massey University with a BVSc (Distinction) Kate worked in mixed clinical practice in rural New Zealand before returning to Massey’s School of Veterinary Science in 2015 as a Lecturer in Pastoral Livestock Health. Kate’s primary areas of focus are sheep, beef cattle and deer health and production, and she is part of the international sheep research group based at Massey University. She is currently completing her PhD, investigating wastage in New Zealand commercial ewe flocks.

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John graduated from Murdoch University in Western Australia. Initially worked in mixed practice in Gippsland Victoria prior to moving to California to complete specialty training a residency in large animal medicine at the University of California Davis. Following the residency went on to complete a PhD, working on the prevention and control of Salmonella on large dairies. Returned to Australia in 2002 to join the University of Sydney to head up the livestock clinical training program. Research activities have had an applied clinical focus predominantly directed at the diagnosis, management and prevention of infectious diseases including pink eye in cattle, salmonella in sheep and cattle, and mycoplasma in dairy cattle.

Paul is the Professor of Sheep Husbandry at Massey University, New Zealand. He also has research interest in beef cattle. Specific sheep-based research programs include: maximizing ewe lamb breeding performance, twin- and triplet-lamb survival and growth to weaning, effects of body size and body condition on efficiency of production, alternative feed types to improve performance, maximizing lamb growth post weaning. These research projects cover the range from basic biological science to the applied level and where appropriate include systems modelling. He has a number of research linkages and programmes nationally and internationally, including Australia, and works with farmers, industry and veterinarians throughout New Zealand.

Neil is Professor of Farm Animal Practice at the University of Edinburgh, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. He qualified with BA and VetMB degrees from Cambridge University in 1984 and has subsequently gained considerable practical experience of farm animal veterinary practice, working with beef cattle and sheep. He has interests in planned livestock production, health and welfare; and his list of about 220 scientific publications in refereed journals and similar number of grey-literature articles mostly refers of the diagnosis and management of production-limiting diseases of ruminant livestock. Neil became a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons while working at Massey University, and holds the RCVS specialist Diploma in Sheep Health and Production. He has written a reference textbook ‘Sheep flock health – a planned approach’, outlining a practical and rational approach to the diagnosis and management of sheep diseases, and has also edited, co-authored and contributed chapters to several other small ruminant, cattle and veterinary parasitology textbooks. Neil’s principal research interest and primary undergraduate teaching responsibilities encompass veterinary parasitology, small ruminant production and veterinary education; reflecting the importance of these topics in global food production, animal welfare and public health. He was awarded a PhD by the University of Edinburgh in 2009. Neil’s current parasitology research includes studies of population genetics of helminth parasites; Haemonchus genomics; anthelmintic resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes; roundworm control in farm animals; management of fluke parasites; antiprotozoal drug resistance; and control of small ruminant ectoparasites. Additional small ruminant research includes studies of sheep production in harsh environments; neonatal lamb survival; goat health and production; lamb losses on Scottish hill farms; small ruminant and wildlife interactions; and management of infectious abortion in sheep. His education research and outreach are focused on the development of veterinary, paraveterinary and livestock keeper education methods in developing agricultural economies, with current programmes in rural India and Malawi. Neil is the current President of the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management and a former president of the Sheep Veterinary Society. He was the Scientific Organiser for the highly successful 9th International Sheep Veterinary Congress, held in the UK in 2017 with the theme of ‘sustainable global food security through efficient small ruminant production’.

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David is a Senior Scientist in the Farming systems team at AgResearch Ltd, New Zealand’s pastoral agriculture research institute. He specialises in the discovery and application of animal nutrition and pasture management information in dairy, red deer and sheep farming systems. This includes researching the interaction between seasonality and animal genetics on voluntary feed intake and its effect in determining deer performance, and the systems impacts of management practices, nutrition and forages in the sheep, deer and dairy industries. He is currently part of a team investigating the variations in the seasonal growth genetics of red deer. They are testing the potential mechanisms for these differences and associated sexual dimorphism variations that have been observed.