Sharing cattle skills with Indian vets

Dr Mark Booth and Dr Natasha Lees

Local vets Dr Mark Booth and Dr Natasha Lees have travelled to south west India to give vets there the benefit of their experiences in treating cattle.

India ranks first in the world in overall milk production, accounting for 20 per cent. Over the last thirty years, production has increased 300 per cent, with virtually all of it consumed domestically.

As volunteers for Vets Beyond Borders, they will be presenting workshops on advances in diagnosis and treatment of ruminal disorders, including diagnostic techniques and surgical procedures.

“I have 20 years of mixed practice veterinary experience and it’s going to be fantastic to be able to impart some knowledge to 30 local vets,” says Mark.

“The course is really going to add to their practical skills.”

The holiness of the cow to Hindus will bring an extra dimension to the experience, as Indian vets put added emphasis on trying to save the animals.

The couple moved to Kiama six years ago. Mark practices locally at Kiama Vet Hospital, and Tash is a senior associate with Scibus, a Camden-based cattle consultancy business.

“The workshop will be a learning curve for both of us and the Indian vets,” says Tash.

“We will learn so much about their veterinary and agricultural industry and their culture, and they will learn techniques and approaches to cattle management.”

Both of them have travelled in India before, and Mark participated in Foot & Mouth preparedness training in Nepal.

VBB’s VetTrain program was launched in 2009 with the initial purpose of providing clinical training to on animal birth control and anti-rabies projects in India.

A decade on, the program is now able to provide training in a wide range of clinical disciplines, to allow appropriate treatment of the myriad of diseases and injuries that afflict animals around the world.

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