The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-03-25T21:56:39Z Petbarn and Greencross Vets appoint True Syd. as their social media partner 2019-03-25T21:56:39Z petbarn-and-greencross-vets-appoint-true-syd-as-their-social-media-partner Content-focused, results-obsessed ad agency True Syd. has been appointed to the Petbarn and Greencross Vets social media businesses. Petbarn and Greencross Vets are part of Greencross Limited, Australia’s leading specialist retailer of pet food, pet-related products, and pet accessories. They also operate Australia’s largest veterinary services business.   True Syd., having previously worked with Petbarn on seasonal campaigns, went to the brand with a bold, proactive request: let us help make you a world-class social media brand.   True’s remit includes all social strategy across both Petbarn and Greencross Vets, content creation and implementation across Facebook and Instagram, community management, social listening, reporting, and social media training across both businesses.   Sean Szeps, True's Head of Social & Strategy, said: “It's very rare that you come across a brand with such a passionate, engaged community. It made our job quite simple. We just needed to react more, engage with equal enthusiasm and amplify consumer stories in the right places at the right times. This would naturally elevate the brand from simply being an online marketer, to becoming a community leader.”   This social strategy, which puts Petbarn and Greencross Vets consumers at the centre of their brand’s marketing efforts, couldn't have come at a more perfect time. Petbarn just announced a new brand positioning of ‘Putting more care in pet care’.   Sumeena Parimu, General Manager, Marketing, said: “Petbarn and Greencross Vets are innovators with a new brand message in market, so it's important that our efforts across all platforms, especially on social media, reflect that. True knows how to tell powerful stories on platforms that we know our consumers are on.”    “We’re leveraging creative formats like Stories and Livestreams to bring our messages to life in the most innovative, relevant manner. If Petbarn’s consumers use these formats daily, then we should too,” added Szeps.  Eric Stephens, CEO of True Syd. said: “Petbarn has been a partner of True’s for several years now on many projects, with social and digital a big part of that. We’re really thrilled to help Petbarn and Greencross with their social and content business.”   Sean Szeps finished with, “Pets are more important to their owners than ever before, with 65% of them posting about their pets on social media twice a week on average. We can't ignore stats like this. We have to not only be present on social platforms, but we need to be active participants who respond quickly with personalised messaging. This will not only help to positively shape consumers’ perception of the brand, but drive business results and continued loyalty."   True Syd. has grown its social offering exponentially, adding the Hydralyte, Pladis and Zeus Street Greek businesses to their retained roster in the past year. Forgettable Alzheimer's Research 2019-03-24T22:17:36Z forgettable-alzheimers-research Dear Editor, At a recent scientific conference, not one but three pharmaceutical companies announced the stunning failures of experimental Alzheimer’s drugs that had tested successfully in mice, who have to be genetically engineered to develop a pseudo-Alzheimer’s condition. The compounds—known as BACE inhibitors—actually appeared to hurt patients, by worsening their cognitive abilities and causing brain shrinkage. The journal Nature described this ever-growing list of treatment disappointments: "Drug companies have spent billions of dollars searching for therapies to reverse or significantly slow Alzheimer’s disease, to no avail." As one molecular biologist put it, "The biggest mistake you can make is to think you can ever have a mouse with Alzheimer’s disease." For the sake of humans and other animals, experimenters must adopt superior, non-animal research methods that are actually relevant to human physiology. For example, a just-published landmark study using cells from human brains has provided new insight into how Alzheimer’s develops, and may lead to effective treatments. When charities ask you for your contribution, ask if they test on animals. If they do, find a better cause. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 desmondb@peta.org.au Industry expert-led Liver Fluke roadshow concludes following NSW tour 2019-03-24T21:52:22Z industry-expert-led-liver-fluke-roadshow-concludes-following-nsw-tour Two industry experts have recently wrapped up a roadshow across NSW designed to highlight the importance of controlling two-week old fluke in sheep, beef and dairy production and the emerging problem of chemical resistance. Ms Jane Kelley, PhD Candidate, Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Sciences and Dr Matthew Ball, Technical Services Veterinarian at Virbac Animal Health toured regional NSW towns earlier this month to share their expertise and help cattle producers address liver fluke disease among their cattle. The roadshow covered everything from the latest global and local findings to new testing methods, how to build a FlukeKill program and how to integrate a fluke treatment with best-practice worm treatment – making it an invaluable forum for cattle producers and veterinarians to improve their knowledge and understanding of control methods for optimal cattle production. Beef and sheep producer Tony Overton was one of the farmers who attended the Walcha seminar. “We’ve always been very vigilant when it comes to these issues in sheep, but we’ve never looked at it being a major issue for cattle, even though we knew it was coming,” he said. “This seminar highlighted the three different application methods, with good explanations of the pros and cons of each, which was of great value to me. I found it very helpful to learn the science behind the best methods for controlling parasites and fluke in our cattle.” Beef producer Bill Mitchell said he attended the Armidale seminar because “we know we have issues with fluke and realise we should be doing more about it. It was great to hear from the experts and get reacquainted with the whole fluke issue – and it was also useful to make contact with the best people to help us. We already use Virbac products, and while our resellers often guide us with how and when to use the products, it’s good to hear a wider range of information on the topic. We will be seeking Virbac’s help as we implement a fixed program to help us run the farm more efficiently.” Virbac Australia’s Fluke Product Manager David Yang described the roadshow as a great success. “With autumn heralding the start of liver fluke season, now’s a critical time for graziers to address the disease among their cattle. Jane and Matthew have presented some really invaluable information to Australia’s industry professionals and cattle producers, and this has been a unique opportunity to learn the latest in fluke management from the experts. We hope it’s helped to inform Australian farmers on the best practices to safeguard their livestock and minimise the impact of this challenging disease.” Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Virbac Australia Fluke Roadshow Seminar Virbac Australia Representatives (Emma Dodd, David Yang, Matthew Ball, Jane Kelley) Trace mineral trial continues to deliver compelling data to support its efficacy 2019-02-27T06:16:22Z trace-mineral-trial-continues-to-deliver-compelling-data-to-support-its-efficacy Seven livestock producers are currently competing in the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge, designed to test the livestock benefits of Multimin, an injection used to top up trace minerals in sheep and cattle prior to high demand periods. Led by animal health company Virbac Australia, the 12-month program will highlight the effects of the mineral injection, delivering real results by real producers. The challengers are competing to be crowned the Multimin Challenger King or Queen – and it will be the public who will ultimately decide the winner when voting opens online in April. The winner will be announced in May 2019 and awarded an ‘experience of lifetime’ prize, specifically tailored to their farming system. The latest challenger to reveal their results is Victorian challenger Renee Murfett, who together with husband Alister operates two dairy farms in Framlingham, Victoria. Their 145-hectare “Springlea” property has 220 Friesian Red Dairy milking cows, while their second 183-hectare farm “Merton Park” has 250 Friesian Red Dairy cows. Renee’s goal has been to increase the immunity, health and productivity of her calves. With five heifers previously lost due to broken legs, Renee’s stock were believed to have suboptimal levels of trace minerals – making Multimin’s animal health program a great opportunity to see the impact of the trace mineral supplement on livestock health and performance. As part of the trial, 210 animals (105 treated and 105 untreated ‘control’ animals) were used to assess improvements in immunity, indicated by a reduction in disease and with the potential for improved growth. The treated group were given Multimin 4 in 1 trace mineral injection for cattle at 1mL/ 50kg at birth, and again at weaning (around 12 weeks of age), and data was collected relating to incidence of scours or disease, presence of illness or death, growth rate and general health. Renee observed some marked differences between the two groups at key stages of development. “The first signs appeared very early on,” she reports. “At just four days of age, we found that only the non-treated calves developed scours. Then by day seven, we began to see visual improvements in the Multimin-treated calves, which had darker, shinier coats compared to the non-treated animals.” Renee’s mentor Dr Susan Swaney explains the significance of that finding. “The coat is an indicator of how well the skin and other physical barriers are. These being the first line of defence, animals with healthy skin and mucous membranes are less likely to be invaded by disease,” she explains. “Improved immune function means improved future productivity, and this type of program while calves are undergoing a growth phase and developing muscle, cartilage and bone will ensure they’re given the best possible start to life.” Renee also observed that when calves were transitioned onto hard feed, stock from both groups developed scouring – but while some of the control animals went off their feed for two to three days, the Multimin-treated animals continued to feed well. As Susan explains, “we know the importance of the trace minerals in Multimin in the development of all stages of the immune system. Optimisation of trace elements at critical time points can provide better disease protection and in some cases improved weight gains, to give young animals the best beginning at what is a critical time in development.” To find out more about how Multimin can improve your livestock performance, contact your local Virbac representative on 1800 242 100. Farmers can also follow the trials at www.multiminchallenge.com - Ends - Contact: Kate Munsie, C7EVEN Communications, 0421 935 843 / 02 6766 4513 Photo caption: Renee Murfett with mentor Dr Susan Swaney Renee’s Multimin treated calves Industry expert-led Liver Fluke Roadshow set to tour NSW 2019-02-25T05:50:21Z industry-expert-led-liver-fluke-roadshow-set-to-tour-nsw Autumn means liver fluke season, so right now is a critical time for graziers to address liver fluke disease among their cattle. Around six million cattle graze Australian pastures where liver fluke is endemic*, and although it’s been a dry summer, experts warn cattle producers not to become complacent in the lead up to Autumn and consider the best strategies to protect their livestock. Next week, two industry experts will kick-off a roadshow across NSW to highlight the importance of controlling two-week old fluke in beef and dairy production. Ms Jane Kelley, PhD Candidate, Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Sciences and Dr Matthew Ball, Veterinarian, Technical Services Veterinarian at Virbac Animal Health will tour regional NSW towns from March 4 - 13 to share their expertise. It’s being described as a great opportunity for cattle producers and veterinarians to improve their knowledge and understanding of control methods for optimal cattle production. Jane completed an Associate Degree in Environmental Horticulture at the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science with Honours, at La Trobe University and is currently completing a PhD. Based at Melbourne’s Centre for AgriBioscience, her research focuses on the epidemiology and management of liver fluke parasites in cattle. Jane has been quantifying the prevalence of liver fluke and drug resistance on dairy farms in Victoria, and is now optimising liver fluke control strategies. “My aim is to increase the productivity and profitability of cattle industries by reducing the detrimental impacts liver fluke has on production, weight gain and fertility in Australian cattle,” she says. Matthew has 18 years experience helping cattle farmers in a range of clinical, advisory and research roles, with jobs in clinical practice, government and industry. He has undertaken post-graduate qualifications in disease surveillance and education. Based on the northern rivers of NSW, Matthew is passionate about helping cattle farmers develop practical and profitable preventative health programs. “We’ll be presenting nine seminars on the roadshow, which will cover the latest global and local findings, new testing methods, how to build a FlukeKill program and how to integrate a fluke treatment with best-practice worm treatment,” says Matthew. “We’re really looking forward to sharing our knowledge, and helping both producers and vets to take the necessary steps to safeguard livestock.” “We’re excited to be hosting Ms Kelley and Dr Ball,” says Virbac Australia’s Fluke Product Manager David Yang. “They’ll present some really invaluable information to Australia’s industry professionals and cattle producers, and this is a unique opportunity to learn the latest in fluke management from the experts.” Please note: this is an invitation-only event. Please contact your local Virbac Australia representative or your local Virbac merchandise store for more information on how to attend. Seminar itinerary: Date Location Time Monday, 4th March Glen Innes Services Club 6pm Dinner provided. Tuesday, 5th March Armidale Golf Club, Armidale 7am. Breakfast and refreshments provided. Wednesday, 6th March Walcha Veterinary Supplies, Walcha 7.30am. Breakfast and refreshments provided. Thursday, 7th March Hill & Crofts CRT, Blayney 8.30am. Breakfast provided. Thursday, 7th March Orange Duntryleague, Orange 6:30pm. Food and refreshments provided. Friday, 8th March Elders, Cowra 8am. Refreshments provided. Monday, 11th March Adelong Services & Citizens Club, Adelong 5pm. Food and refreshments provided. Tuesday, 12th March The Services Club, Braidwood 5pm. Food and refreshments provided. Wednesday, 13th March Bombala Golf Club, Bombala 5pm. Food and refreshments provided. Ends * NSW Government Department of Primary Industries; March 2017, Primefact 446, fourth edition. Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 / 0421 935 843 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Ms Jane Kelley Dr Matthew Ball That Steve Irwin Google doodle 2019-02-25T03:04:08Z that-steve-irwin-google-doodle Dear Editor, Steve Irwin was no saint, nor would he have claimed to be. He was a showbiz personality, acting the part of a "wildlife warrior" brilliantly, while in reality exploiting and harassing the animals he claimed to protect. Hauling animals to television studios or ambushing a crocodile with ropes, duct tape, and a camera crew — traumatising the animal and temping other people to approach wild animals themselves or, even worse, purchase one to keep as a "pet" — is neither education nor conservation. True wildlife experts, such as Jean-Michel Cousteau, frown upon the idea of hauling exotic animals around in an endless parade of shows and exhibits and disturbing animals in their natural habitats. Cousteau stated that Irwin would "interfere with nature, jump on animals, grab them, hold them … it goes very well on television. It sells, it appeals to a lot people, but I think it’s very misleading. You don’t touch nature, you just look at it." Zoos and wildlife shows are just that – show business. Leave that for Hollywood, and please don’t support any business where live animals are taken from their natural environment, showcased and exploited. Mimi Bekhechi Campaigns Consultant, PETA Australia PO Box 20308 World Square Sydney, NSW, 2002 (08) 8556-5828 mimib@peta.org.au Mug punters 2019-02-22T05:15:19Z mug-punters Dear Editor, How much do punters know about the industry that takes their money? The racing industry seems to think Australians are mug punters – gullible and easily swindled. In addition to the charges laid recently against horse racing trainer Ben Currie for using an electrical shocking device, there was another charge that didn't get much news coverage: "Making dishonest statements in not disclosing to potential buyers that Rock Spark bled at Gatton on 6 April 2017." The law takes a dim view of misleading statements during sales transactions, but what about the gamblers? If you are a punter, you can bet (and this bet you'll win) that there are things about the horse you are betting on that you didn't know, and that might have changed your decision. One of many such concealed details is the fact that the horse may have bled after his or her last race. Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage is a very common condition among racehorses. It causes bleeding into the lungs and airways, usually as a result of burst capillaries. Researchers at the University of Melbourne have shown that 56 percent of racehorses have blood in their windpipes, and 90 percent have blood deeper in their lungs. But only 1 percent show outward signs of bleeding, so it is easy to conceal. Punters should legally be able to access essential veterinary information about injuries, bleeding or other issues, otherwise it is probably fair to say you are being denied all the facts necessary to make a reasonable bet. But here's a much better bet - don't put your hard-earned cash into cruelty: stay away from tracks and betting venues. Mimi Bekhechi Campaigns Consultant, PETA Australia PO Box 20308 World Square Sydney, NSW, 2002 (08) 8556-5828 mimib@peta.org.au Virbac Australia announces the winner of their latest Cydectin LA testimonial competition 2019-02-22T00:39:40Z virbac-australia-announces-the-winner-of-their-latest-cydectin-la-testimonial-competition-1 With internal parasite infestation being the single most important disease faced by Australia’s red meat producers, animal health company Virbac Australia recently decided to run a testimonial competition across social media to discover the impact of their parasite product Cydectin Long Acting for Cattle on farms around Australia. The product is known for its unbeatable potency and persistency, and it provides the longest protection available against a range of internal and external parasites, including worms – but rather than just take Virbac’s word for it, the manufacturer asked Cydectin LA users to tell their own stories on their Facebook page. Customers were asked to share how the product improved productivity and profitability, saved labour and helped heifers and weaners to reach optimal weight earlier. One entrant would be the lucky winner of a Leicht's Stockman Pro-Chute worth $7,000, while the store with the winning entrant would also receive a donation of $1,000 to go to a nominated local charity. In addition, everyone who entered won a free pack of Cydectin Long Acting for Cattle. Virbac Australia recently announced the overall winner as cattle grazier David Ross from Wollomombi, east of Armidale, NSW, and he was recently the delighted recipient of a brand new Leicht’s Stockman Pro-Chute. David summarised his experience using Cydectin Long Acting for Cattle as follows: “We began using Cydectin LA in our weaners 4 years ago. We wean around 500 head in March every year and we immediately noticed the difference LA was making. We were no longer seeing any wormy cattle in mid-winter and the visual difference in our weaners with no tail present was a very obvious benefit. Since using LA we have been getting our replacement heifers to joining weights quicker, this product has been great for our business.” GrazAg Armidale was announced as the winning store, with Virbac Australia donating $1,000 to their chosen charity, BackTrack. The charity enables young people who have lost their way to reconnect with education and training, become work-ready and secure meaningful employment. The youth they work with are mostly rural males aged 12 to 19 who have multiple and complex challenges in education, health, justice, housing and employment. BackTrack helps these young people to get back on track by developing strong, happy and healthy foundations that result in positive life pathways and full participation in their communities, and Virbac Australia is proud to be able to contribute to this worthwhile cause. When it comes to a parasite management program, Virbac Technical Services Manager Matt Ball says that Autumn is always a strategic time to control cattle parasites such as worms and ticks. “Numbers of parasites are often at a high level and a highly effective Autumn drench will not only remove the current parasites but reduce overall paddock contamination. An Autumn treatment with Cydectin Long Acting for Cattle will strategically reduce the risk from highly contaminated pastures and avoid the need for repeat drench treatments. Autumn use of Cydectin LA can often be timed to a pre-weaning or weaning time drench.” Matt continues, “Independent research has proven that single strategic use of Cydectin LA in growing stock will lead to much higher productivity than multiple short acting drenches. The vaccine is changing the approach to the control of worms and cattle ticks in Australia. Used strategically, the product can deliver improved productivity, animal welfare, labor efficiency and resistance management.” To find out why there’s nothing like Cydectin LA, farmers are encouraged to talk to their local rural supplier. For more information, visit au.virbac.com. Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Cydectin LA testimonial winner, David Ross with his new Leicht’s Stockman Pro-Chute Virbac Technical Services Manager Matt Ball Virbac Australia announces the winner of their latest Cydectin LA testimonial competition 2019-02-21T23:44:21Z virbac-australia-announces-the-winner-of-their-latest-cydectin-la-testimonial-competition With internal parasite infestation being the single most important disease faced by Australia’s red meat producers, animal health company Virbac Australia recently decided to run a testimonial competition across social media to discover the impact of their parasite product Cydectin Long Acting for Cattle on farms around Australia. The product is known for its unbeatable potency and persistency, and it provides the longest protection available against a range of internal and external parasites, including worms – but rather than just take Virbac’s word for it, the manufacturer asked Cydectin LA users to tell their own stories on their Facebook page. Customers were asked to share how the product improved productivity and profitability, saved labour and helped heifers and weaners to reach optimal weight earlier. One entrant would be the lucky winner of a Leicht's Stockman Pro-Chute worth $7,000, while the store with the winning entrant would also receive a donation of $1,000 to go to a nominated local charity. In addition, everyone who entered won a free pack of Cydectin Long Acting for Cattle. Virbac Australia recently announced the overall winner as cattle grazier David Ross from Wollomombi, east of Armidale, NSW, and he was recently the delighted recipient of a brand new Leicht’s Stockman Pro-Chute. David summarised his experience using Cydectin Long Acting for Cattle as follows: “We began using Cydectin LA in our weaners 4 years ago. We wean around 500 head in March every year and we immediately noticed the difference LA was making. We were no longer seeing any wormy cattle in mid-winter and the visual difference in our weaners with no tail present was a very obvious benefit. Since using LA we have been getting our replacement heifers to joining weights quicker, this product has been great for our business.” GrazAg Armidale was announced as the winning store, with Virbac Australia donating $1,000 to their chosen charity, BackTrack. The charity enables young people who have lost their way to reconnect with education and training, become work-ready and secure meaningful employment. The youth they work with are mostly rural males aged 12 to 19 who have multiple and complex challenges in education, health, justice, housing and employment. BackTrack helps these young people to get back on track by developing strong, happy and healthy foundations that result in positive life pathways and full participation in their communities, and Virbac Australia is proud to be able to contribute to this worthwhile cause. When it comes to a parasite management program, Virbac Technical Services Manager Matt Ball says that Autumn is always a strategic time to control cattle parasites such as worms and ticks. “Numbers of parasites are often at a high level and a highly effective Autumn drench will not only remove the current parasites but reduce overall paddock contamination. An Autumn treatment with Cydectin Long Acting for Cattle will strategically reduce the risk from highly contaminated pastures and avoid the need for repeat drench treatments. Autumn use of Cydectin LA can often be timed to a pre-weaning or weaning time drench.” Matt continues, “Independent research has proven that single strategic use of Cydectin LA in growing stock will lead to much higher productivity than multiple short acting drenches. The vaccine is changing the approach to the control of worms and cattle ticks in Australia. Used strategically, the product can deliver improved productivity, animal welfare, labor efficiency and resistance management.” To find out why there’s nothing like Cydectin LA, farmers are encouraged to talk to their local rural supplier. For more information, visit au.virbac.com. Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Cydectin LA testimonial winner, David Ross with his new Leicht’s Stockman Pro-Chute Virbac Technical Services Manager Matt Ball Vetsupply Announces Anniversary Sale with Fabulous Discounts 2019-02-20T10:38:45Z vetsupply-announces-anniversary-sale-with-fabulous-discounts One of the leading pet supply online stores, VetSupply is coming up with great news for the pet parents of Australia. Popular for its approach towards pets and their parents, the online store is announcing the anniversary sale for the entire month of March. Established in March 2015, the complete pet supply online store will provide hefty sitewide discounts to its loyal and loving customers. Adding one more year to its legacy the online store's team is extremely happy with the way things have shaped in the last one year. The sales and marketing manager at VetSupply states(with a gleeful chuckle), “A healthy pet and a tension free pet parent has always been on top of our priority list. And maybe, because of that, last year our company’s performance was egregious and overwhelming, we outperformed our expectations and the credit goes to our beloved pets and their pet parents.” The manager elaborates, “Hence, Anniversary Sale is our way of showing our gratitude and sharing our happiness with our customers for having faith in us when we were new in the market.” Showing deep concern for the rising parasitic infestations and other health issues in pets, VetSupply’s Senior Vet also adds, “Parasites, bacteria, and viruses are becoming immune to many old treatments, and therefore, it’s very crucial that everyone gets advanced treatments irrespective of their financial status. This offer will help us to reach the customers who cannot afford these costly treatments, foods, and supplements. And as far as the quality of the products is concerned, we only choose those brands who constantly innovate because it is obligatory for the brands to keep innovating so that they can fight the parasites and other disease-causing agents that have become resistant to many old treatments.” Launched with a vision to cater affordable pet supplies to pet parents and solve their day to day problems related to food, treatments, preventives, supplements and hygiene care, the website provides branded products at affordable rates. The emerging pet supply giant has always given preference to its values of conserving the health of the pets all around the country. About Vet Supply: Vet Supply is one of the most elite online pet stores in Australia. Known for its wide range of products, the company’s mission and vision are to make the costly brands available to each and every pet parent in the country at a nominal rate making pet parenting easier and affordable. VetSupply offers an extensive range of pet products including pet medications, treatments, accessories, food, and supplements at the lowest possible prices. The company also offers great deals on all the major products including heartworm preventives, flea and tick medications, wormers, wound care, pet supplements, and a broad range of other pet supplies. Vet Panel at Vet supply is one of the best panels of Veterinarians in the online healthcare market. Apart from providing thorough information and guidance regarding pet health, they also work really hard to make sure that the correct and advanced products are procured and made available for our customers. For more information on the anniversary sale visit: https://www.vetsupply.com.au/ Shooting the messenger 2019-02-18T22:38:48Z shooting-the-messenger Dear Editor, "Shooting the messenger" has been a popular sport for at least 2,000 years (although back then, Plutarch tells us, the messenger would be decapitated for bringing bad news). Australia kept up the absurd tradition of shooting the messenger this week when WA Labor MP Lisa Baker stated the undeniable fact that "meat-eating men produced more greenhouse gas emissions than vegan women”. She was shouted down by lobbying groups like the Pastoralists and Graziers Association and WAFarmers, as well as their spokesperson, the Federal Agriculture Minister. As a man who, twenty years ago, used to eat a lot of meat, I can only concur with Ms Baker’s statement. Recent research shows the enormous carbon footprint of animal agriculture – it provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland. The most comprehensive analysis ever done of the damage farming does to the planet, covering 38,700 farms in 119 countries, found that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, the European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Science shows that eliminating meat is the best way to reduce food's environmental impacts. It would allow reforestation, significantly reduce a range of human health problems – from obesity and diabetes to heart disease, strokes and certain types of cancer – and save billions of animals from lives of terror and agonising deaths. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 desmondb@peta.org.au Crying for a profit lost 2019-02-13T04:51:42Z crying-for-a-profit-lost Dear Editor, Dorothea Mackellar had it right a century ago when she wrote in her famous poem "My Country" about a land "of droughts and flooding rains," proclaiming "when sick at heart around us, we see the cattle die". Today, the news channels and social media feeds are full of stories of graziers who are sick at heart at the deaths of hundreds of thousands of cattle – drowned or, a few weeks ago, dying of heat exhaustion and thirst. What these stories don’t mention is that these animals were never fated to have a long life. If the animals hadn’t drowned or died of dehydration, they would have been hanged by their back legs in a slaughterhouse only to have their throats slashed open, sometimes, due to the speed of processing, while still fully conscious. The graziers are now mostly "sick at heart" because they are not making money from the appalling deaths these animals faced at the hands of the sunburnt country. Droughts and flooding rain were a reality a hundred years ago, and they will only become more intense as climate change, to which animal agriculture is a major contributor, continues to intensify. But, as long as we continue to buy the flesh of these unhappy animals, graziers will continue to breed them, on land that is totally unsuitable. Please – if your heart is sick at the sights of hundreds of thousands of dead animals this week – go vegan, and break this vicious spiral of death. Mimi Bekhechi Campaigns Consultant, PETA Australia PO Box 20308 World Square Sydney, NSW, 2002 (08) 8556-5828 mimib@peta.org.au A shocking business 2019-02-11T00:42:15Z a-shocking-business Dear Editor, Once again, the news is full of stories about the horseracing industry. This is not surprising, considering the immense abuse that goes on there. This time, charges have been laid after police raids, which found four Taser-like "jiggers" at a trainer’s property. A jigger, the sports journalists tell us, is an electronic device that is used to stimulate a horse to run faster. It is used in training, and the action is simulated on race day so the horse believes he or she is about to be shocked. We are also shocked, but not surprised. Imagine being pushed beyond the point of exhaustion: the bones in your legs straining to hold up the weight of your body, your bleeding lungs incapable of taking in enough air, and you're forced to keep running despite it all. This is what life is like for racehorses, who are too often chronically drugged by trainers in order to mask their pain and enhance their performance. In fact, the entire horseracing business causes enormous suffering and death every year to thousands of horses. They suffer broken bones, gastric ulcers and bleeding into their lungs from over-exertion. Doping with anti-inflammatory and other drugs can affect their respiration and muscles, and pain killers will allow trainers to push the horse well beyond safe levels. Horses that don’t win immediately are often classified as ‘wastage’ and are sent, with the ageing winners, to the knackeries for pet food or on long journeys to abattoirs for human consumption. Government figures show that as many as 40,000 horses are slaughtered each year in Australia. Horseracing is an industry, not a sport, and the persistent corruption scandals just emphasise that it is a cruel and inhumane business. Desmond Bellamy Special Projects Coordinator PETA Australia PO Box 2352 Byron Bay NSW 2481 0411 577 416 DesmondB@PETA.org.au “Robots Won’t Replace Vets or Vet Nurses, But they Will Play a Part” Says Veterinary Pioneer 2019-02-07T05:23:52Z robots-won-t-replace-vets-or-vet-nurses-but-they-will-play-a-part-says-veterinary-pioneer Penny isn’t a vet, vet nurse, pharmacist or pharmacy assistant, but she is about to become an important part of the billion dollar Australian  pet medicine business and change the way Australian pet owners buy prescription pet medicines. Or at least, that’s what her creators at the VetShopGroup believe. Penny the PetScripts Virtual Assistant is what is known as a chat-bot, an artificial intelligence powered program capable of answering questions and giving guidance to pet owners wanting to buy prescription medicines for their pet. Penny is the first chat-bot in the world specifically created to help pet owners buy pet medicines. Created by acknowledged pioneers in the animal health supplies business, Dr Mark Perissinotto BVSc and his brother Steven,  Penny means that Australian pet owners wanting to fill pet prescriptions online now get 24 hour robo-support at online pet pharmacy PetScripts.com.au. Penny draws on PetScripts database of knowledge to answer customers’ questions about filling scripts online. She is also constantly learning and improving. If she can’t answer your question, she gets a real person to answer, and she then learns that answer for next time. Penny doesn’t give pet health advice or recommend medicines. Or at least she doesn’t yet. Her creators acknowledge that while the role of AI in animal medicine continues to move forward in leaps and bounds, Aussie pet owners don’t need to worry that robots are going to replace their friendly vet any time soon. “ Robots are tools to make our life easier, not replace real people” says PetScripts managing director and chief vet, Dr Mark Perissinotto. “Your veterinarian is absolutely the best person to examine your pet and advise on what medicines your pet needs, and Penny is not intended to replace that. But the process of getting scripts ordered and filled can and should be streamlined. That’s where Penny and online pet pharmacies like PetScripts.com.au comes in." “Getting a pet prescription filled online isn’t as simple as say buying a pair a book or airline ticket, and it isn’t something people would necessarily do every day.” Dr Perissinotto says. “Most first time online pet pharmacy customers need help or have questions and PetScripts wants to make getting that assistance as easy as we can. Because it’s simply not possible to have a real live Australian vet tech or pharmacy assistant available 24 hours a day, Penny is here to help”. While Penny represents the first foray in to AI for the VetShopGroup, the Perissinotto brothers have a history of leading the way when it comes to pet health in Australia.  They launched the first online retailer of pet health products way back in 1999! In the last decade they’ve used technology to give them a leadership position in the field, driving down costs, recruiting new customers, acquiring competitors and increasing delivery efficiencies and have grown to be the largest vet owned pet health products retailer in Australia. In 2016 they launched PetScripts.com.au to  allow Australian pet owners to fill pet prescriptions online with Australian registered pharmacists. (Note: a valid prescription from an Australian veterinarian is required to order pet medicines from PetScripts.com.au). For further information visit www.PetScripts.com.au or contact Steven Perissinotto  steven@vetshopgroup.com  Cattle fertility, conception and weight gains revealed by latest Multimin Performance Ready Challenger 2019-02-05T02:12:30Z cattle-fertility-conception-and-weight-gains-revealed-by-latest-multimin-performance-ready-challenger South Australian farm manager Craig Brewin has announced the latest round of results from the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge, a 12-month program run by animal health company Virbac Australia. The Multimin Performance Ready Challenge has given seven Australian farmers the chance to experience first-hand the benefits of Multimin trace mineral injection. Challengers receive 12 months of free Multimin product and a tailored nutrition program developed by leading industry mentors. With each challenger sharing their program results and experiences, Craig has been paying particular attention to how Multimin contributes to increased fertility, conception and weight gain, supported by expert advice from mentor Dr Colin Trengove, Vet, University of Adelaide lecturer, and Managing Director of Pro Ag Consulting. Operating from Maranoa Downs, 20km west of Naracoorte SA, Craig runs predominately Angus cows, which are joined to Wagyu bulls to produce feedlot-entry cattle. After running multiple trace element tests on cattle of various age groups over the years, Craig discovered ongoing issues with cobalt, selenium, copper and manganese deficiencies in many of his animals. Under the guidance of Multimin mentor Dr Colin Trengove, Craig decided to trial the effects of Multimin on the general health and weight gain of his calves. Craig explains how the trial was conducted. “We treated 50% of our calves with Multimin at marking and weaning and plan to treat the same calves again 3 months post weaning. The other 50% were left untreated and used as a control mob. When comparing the weights of the treated and untreated steers in August 2018 and again in January 2019, and we found a modest weight gain advantage in the treated steers. Although weight gain increases are not always attributed to trace minerals, it is possible that Multimin helped improved the immune function of the steers, and hence provided them with a better opportunity to grow. Unquestionably, the general appearance of the treated calves has also improved, and it’s clear from this result that Multimin’s impact on immunity gave our steers an additional means to grow and gain weight.” For Dr Trengove, the benefits of the Multimin program are clear. “Adequate nutrition including trace minerals are integral to the development of muscle, cartilage and bone during the growth phase in calves,” he says. “There are numerous studies that confirm the critical role that trace minerals play in immunity for growing calves. Collectively, they show that the immune system can be enhanced through the use of trace mineral supplements such as Multimin, leading to better disease protection and additional weight gain.” Outside of the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge Craig ran a second test focusing on the effects of Multimin on fertility. “In this trial, heifers with their first calf at foot were treated with Multimin and Webster’s 5 in 1 B12 in early May (pre-calving) and then treated with Multimin again in August at calf marking (pre-joining). Our bulls were also treated with Multimin before joining. The heifers were joined over an eight-week period, and it was recorded that out of the 127 head joined, 122 fell pregnant. This meant a 96% conception rate, which is phenomenal,” Craig says. “Using Multimin in conjunction with Websters 5 in 1 B12 has proved highly effective. Generally, it’s quite challenging to get our heifers rearing their first calf back into calf, so I’m very happy with these results.” To find out more about how Multimin can improve livestock performance, contact your local stockist on 1800 242 100. Interested farmers can sign up for continuing updates on the Multimin Performance Ready Challenge at www.multiminchallenge.com Ends Media Enquiries: Kate Munsie - C7EVEN COMMUNICATIONS (02) 6766 4513 kate.munsie@c7even.com.au Photo captions: Craig’s Multimin treated Angus cows Craig Brewin with mentor Dr Colin Trengove