Become an animal health expert and change the world.
Australia is one of the most enthusiastic meat-eating countries in the world so a lot of healthy livestock is needed to satisfy demand. “Human health is directly tied to animal health,” says Federation University Australia Associate Professor David Piedrafita.
One of the biggest issues facing livestock is infectious disease. Worm parasites, for example, are a big problem in Australia because the worms have become resistant to de-worming drugs. But a lot can be learned from countries that haven’t been able to afford de-worming drugs and have instead bred animals that are naturally resistant to worm parasites.
David and his team have crossed Australian merino sheep with a new generation of Indonesian thin tail sheep that have resistance to flatworms, and they’re conducting genetic testing to better understand the resistance. David says the veterinary science research will help farmers to breed sheep that are healthy and resistant to parasites.
He says the veterinary science learning environment at Fed Uni is great because it’s a regional university – the class sizes are small and students get to work closely with local farmers. “We take students out to different farm settings, comparing free-range and intensive farming methods.”
And veterinary science offers a lot of career opportunities, says David. “Animal quarantine, disease surveillance and wild animal research are just a few.”
– Cherese Sonkkila