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2022 award winners
Outstanding Service Award 2022
Paddy Currall has made a significant contribution to the New Zealand veterinary profession over the course of her career. For 42 years, she has supported employers in their recruitment process through her New Zealand-based, sole charge locum agency. Paddy has recently retired and is already greatly missed by employers around the country.
As a recruiter, Paddy showed immense care for veterinary candidates, practices, and the profession as a whole. She drew on her extensive network to match applicants to roles with great thought and care.
Paddy built lasting relationships within the New Zealand veterinary profession, often providing helpful advice to companies about both candidates and the industry. She took an overall view to every role, always considering how a candidate would fit into the wider team and organisation, as well as how the role might contribute to the candidate’s personal goals.
Working in the veterinary sector for over four decades, Paddy has made a huge difference in often difficult circumstances. Recent years have seen various challenges in the profession, but Paddy has weathered them all with grace and positivity.
Despite the increasing shortage of veterinary professionals in New Zealand, Paddy would always try to find the right person for the job. She went above and beyond for candidates, often helping overseas locums, many of whom ended up ultimately settling in New Zealand. Her dedication to the profession even saw her welcoming locums into her homes in Auckland and Christchurch when they first arrived, jetlagged, in New Zealand. Her warmth and generosity has made her a lifelong friend to veterinarians around the country – and indeed the world.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Award 2022
VetPlus Production Animal Team
The inaugural Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Award has been awarded to the Production Animal Team at VetPlus. The team has shown great commitment to the NZVA 2030 statement and have implemented several policies to reduce antimicrobial usage in farms around the country.
In particular, VetPlus has made significant progress in mastitis management through their use of Mastatests in-house and on-farm. With these devices, veterinarians and farmers can test cows with mastitis before they are treated with antibiotics. Approximately 20% of tested cases do not need antibiotic treatment, significantly reducing the amount of unnecessary antibiotics administered.
When antibiotics are required, VetPlus encourages clients to use Dairy Antibiograms to monitor their effectiveness. This initiative has led to better outcomes for clients and their farms, as antibiotic recommendations are tailored to the specific animal based on collected data.
VetPlus has veterinarians trained to carry out milking and mastitis management consultations to see where changes can be made and ultimately prevent cases of mastitis before they occur. This preventative approach improves overall herd health and reduces the need for antibiotics in the first place.
Preventative testing and monitoring are a core part of the team’s success in antimicrobial reduction. VetPlus offers quarterly health checks to look at all aspects of herd health as part of their HealthPlus program. They also have access to data from Fonterra, MINDA, and their clients’ electronic collars/ear tag systems, all of which contribute to a culture of early intervention. The team’s work in this area helps farmers set themselves up for success before major seasonal stressors such as calving, dry-off, mating and transition.
Alongside their fantastic work in mastitis management, the VetPlus team also carries out robust Restricted Veterinary Medicines (RVM) consults for their clients. The annual consult looks at antibiotic use on the farm and what may be needed for the year ahead. The client receives a colour-coded laminated wall chart listing appropriate antibiotics as well as a limited quantity of antibiotics for the year. The wall chart uses the traffic light colours to visually remind clients of appropriate antibiotic usage throughout the year. Of note, the practice has almost completely removed red antibiotic usage among their production animal clients.
VetPlus uses John Howie’s Herd Expenditure Review programme to analyse antimicrobial usage from their vision database. Veterinarians can then benchmark and customise each client’s Animal Health Review to focus on abnormally high disease rates and subsequent antimicrobial usage.
VetPlus is part of the ongoing Antimicrobial Use Reduction (AMUR) project, funded by the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund. The two-year project is farmer-led and designed to help farmers develop their own antimicrobial reduction strategies with support from local veterinarians. With so many of their own strategies already underway, it’s clear that VetPlus will be a valuable resource for this project.
The Production Animal team from VetPlus (left to right): Jarrod Davey, Madi Bartlett, Kyle Kannan.