The Australian Veterinary History Record is published by the Australian Veterinary History Group in the months of March, July and November.

Please take the opportunity to visit the AVHS web page

also the Australian Veterinary History Record when you log onto

Editor: Dr NE Tweddle, 23 The Governors Drive, Mount Macedon, Vic, 3441 Email: [email protected] ; Tel. (03) 5426 2045.


President: Dr AJ Turner

Secretary/Treasurer: Dr JH Auty Post Office, Hazeldene, Vic. 3658 Phone 03 5780 1426

Librarian: Dr AT Hart

Committee Members: Dr Paul Canfield Dr Helen Fairnie Dr Keith Hughes Dr Patricia McWhirter Dr Dick Roe

The Australian Veterinary History Group is a Special Interest Group of the AVA [AVHG]. All who are interested in any aspect of veterinary history may join. Annual subscription is $30.

Please direct enquiries and correspondence to the President, Dr Andrew Turner, 25 Garton Street, Princes Hill, Victoria 3054, . Tel 61 3 9380 1652. Email [email protected] .

All comments and opinions expressed in the Australian Veterinary History Record are those of the individual writers and not of the Editor, nor do they represent any official policy of the Australian Veterinary History Group or its Committee.


Minutes of the 18th Annual Meeting 1 Annual Reports 3  Treasurers Report 3  Honorary Editors Report 4  Honorary Librarian Report 5 Report of AVH SIG Committee Meeting, 4 September 2009 6 Historical Articles 10  Clover Infertility; NR Adams and KP Croker. 10  Lupinosis In Western Australia; Jeremy Allen. 13  The Elusive Plegin – Traps for Beginner Historians; 18 Tom Hart.  Lessons From History In Veterinary Education; 21 Malcolm McLennan.  A Brief History of the Veterinary 26 Laboratories; Lorna Melville and Peter Hooper.  Eradication of Pleuropneumonia, Brucellosis and 33 Tuberculosis from Territory Cattle and Buffalo; Brian Radunz.


APOLOGIES: RP Knight, J Hil1s, AT Hart, IM Parsonson and NE Tweddle

PRESENT: AJ Turner, P Macwhirter, JH Whittem, J Apsley-Davis, JT Faragher, A Jackson and B Radunz. In attendance: M Lawrie, President.

MlNUTES of the 17th Annual General Meeting were accepted as an accurate record.

PRESIDENT REPORT: Dr Turner spoke briefly to his reports that had been published in the AVHS Record No. 54.

1 HONORARY SECRETARY & TREASURER REPORT Dr Auty spoke briefly of the difficulties arising from centralising all financial activities in Sydney. He is in discussion concerning some double debiting of PAC capitation costs. Funds remaining amount to $3600 and wiIl take another four years to run down. Annual Subscription should remain at $30 for 2010.

REPORTS OF THE HONORARY EDITOR AND THE HONORARY LIBRARIAN: Reports were tabled and will be published in the next Edition of the Record. ELECTION: There were no nominations for Offices of the Society or resignations of Officers of the Society. All Office Bearers were declared re- elected.

GENERAL BUSINESS: Dr Jackson reported on the Historical Collection housed in 20 boxes at St Leonards. It is proposed to make a photographic record of the Collection. Dr Turner indicated his attendance in Sydney would enable a viewing of the Collection. During discussion on the need for ensuring relevant obituaries to appear in the AVJ and the Editor having difficulty in obtaining them, Dr Faragher offered to carry out the task of organizing obituaries on behalf of the Editor.

Dr Lawrie reported on problems associated with the election of the President that arise from the changes made to the Constitution in 2008. The Board will be addressing the need for further changes to the Constitution.

The President indicated that 2011 was the 250th Anniversary of the establishment of the first Veterinary School at Lyons and perhaps this could provide the opportunity to develop and publish a general history of the profession in Australia. It was agreed that this initiative would be pursued by the AVHS out-of-session; the President AVHS to follow up.

NEXT MEETING: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Queensland, 23 - 28 May 2010


The report incorporated into the Annual Report of the Association and a March Addendum were published in the Record Number 54.


Annual Financial Return for the period ending 31 December 2008. Statement of Financial Performance (formerly called Profit and Loss) 2008 $ INCOME Membership Subscriptions 1,160 Sponsorship 0 Sales of goods and services 0 Conferences 0 Publications 41 Interest 128 Other 0 Non Operating disposal of investments 0 TOTAL INCOME 1,330 EXPENDITURE Service Expenses 0 Sponsorship 0 Conferences and Education 300 Communications and Publications 0 Occupancy 0 Administration Expenses 0 Interest 0 Other 1,766 TOTAL EXPENDITURE 2,066


Accumulated funs brought forward 4,538

Accumulated Funds 3,802

I confirm that the information provided on all pages of this Annual Return is in accordance with our books and records. J H Auty Honorary Treasurer 23/4/2009 3 Statement of Financial Position (formerly called Balance Sheet) 2008 $ Current Assets Interactivity account with AVA National 3,802 Receivables 0 Total Current Assets 3,802

Non-Current Assets 0 Total Expenditure 0 Total Property and Equipment 0 Total Non-current Assets 0


Current Liabilities 0 Total Liabilities 0


ACCUMULATED FUNDS Retained surplus brought forward 4,538 Transfer funds to branch 0 Current year surplus/ (loss) (736)



Three numbers of the AVH Record were produced and distributed during the year as planned. The contribution of Ian Parsonson as Honorary Editor of the AVH Record for many years must be acknowledged. The assistance and support of Andrew Turner during the transition of editors was instrumental in maintaining the production schedule.

4 There are papers for upcoming numbers but the support of all presenters in Darwin in providing copies of their papers so the aspects of the history of the profession reported is recorded in the AVH Record. Delays have been experienced in posting of Australian Veterinary History Record on the Sydney eScholarship Repository of the Library, but this has been corrected and is again up to date. With another Pan Pacific conference planned for 2010, papers relating to the profession in New Zealand and Pacific countries as well as Australia are invited.

Neil E Tweddle Honorary Editor, AVHR.


The open shelves which housed the old rare books in the collection have been replaced by shelves with lockable glass doors. The new shelves were purchased from IKEA for $512.

The space available at the library is rapidly filling and it is now necessary to modify the criteria for acquisitions. The library now only has space for books written by Australian veterinarians about veterinary or related topics or books of historical significance. It is desirable that books written by veterinarians are signed by them if possible.

Two examples of suitable books donated to the library are The Australian Horse Book by David de Fredrick and Veteran and Veterinarian by Jim Whittem. Both are written by Australian veterinarians, were reviewed in the AVJ, and contain accounts of the author’s experience in the veterinary profession. Although David de Fredrick’s book is principally a comprehensive exposition of horse management and diseases, it is based on his lifetime experience in equine practice. In Whittem’s book the experience is in teaching, research and scientific administration within the veterinary profession as well as his WW2 service. These books will provide a snapshot of veterinary life in the second half of the 20th century, covering a wide spectrum, in years to come.

Tom Hart MHML Hon Librarian

5 AVH SIG Committee Meeting, 4 September 2009

The AVH SIG Committee met in the Gilruth and Max Henry Memorial Libraries, Veterinary School on 4 September to consider several initiatives that had arisen at and since the AGM. Ms Tammie Goates, Gilruth and Max Henry Librarian, provided for perusal recent additions to the Max Henry Memorial Library and memorabilia from Margaret Keats recently donated to the Library by her family.

History of the Australian Veterinary Profession Project: At the Darwin AGM, the President Mark Lawrie suggested it might be timely to have a history of the veterinary profession in Australia, with the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the first veterinary school at Lyon, France in 2011. The Committee agreed a definitive history of the veterinary profession should be written, but doubted an adequate manuscript could be completed by 2011. A short history of the profession, written in 1983 for the World Veterinary Congress in Perth by Dr John Auty, could be updated to 2010.

It was agreed that a history written by an established/eminent historian or at least overseeing the writing was preferable than a multi-author approach. Material would be sourced from the AVHS and other people.

Indicative costs to produce a comprehensive history may be in the order of $100,000 per year for 3 years plus additional costs associated with getting photographic material ready for the publication.

It was agreed that the purpose of writing the history of the profession was to promote the profession to the public and the profession as vital, active and forward thinking. There is public interest in the profession and this interest needs to be fostered in having an inviting public presentation.

The AVHS Committee recommends to the AVA Board of Directors that: 1. If desirable for the international promotion of the Australian veterinary profession associated with the Lyon Veterinary School celebrations, a small edition of a veterinary history could be produced by extending the history that was written in 1983 to the present time. 2. A longer history of the veterinary profession be prepared by an established/eminent historian; it was estimated the project might take about 3 years to prepare given the research work to be undertaken.

6 AVA Archivist: With the retirement of the current Archivist and considering the merits of Archivist and Historian positions and responsibilities, the Committee recommends to the AVA Board of Directors that: 3. A part-time professional Archivist be appointed by the AVA Board of Directors to satisfy historical record keeping objectives as well as company legal objectives with a brief to promote the profession publicly. It is strongly recommended that the term of appointment be for 3 year terms to enable a proper review of performance. 4. The AVA Board endorse a policy that all Fellows and Life Members and those giving Kesteven, Gilruth and Kendall Orations be required to supply a biography of their life and work to that time; the material from the above persons would be forwarded to and coordinated by the part- time Archivist.

The AVHS would assist and guide on the records of the Association to be kept to meet future historical purposes. The initiative to obtain biographies would provide the opportunity to put these records into the website under the Members Area and provide solid material for writing obituaries for inclusion in the AVJ and Australian Dictionary of Biography. Maintaining the records in a website would provide security of the records against fire, theft and damage.

Australian Veterinary History Collection: The Committee, having seen the photographic record of the collection of instruments held at AVA HQ, was disappointed with the collection of instruments and its lack of substance. AVA Members may be reluctant to donate without good display conditions that would have an educational perspective for the public and the profession. Some additional material is held at the University of Sydney, Camden, in the name of the AVA.

5: As the material in the collection is not a substantial collection of veterinary instruments with most not related to events/persons/occasions, as might be expected in an historical collection, the Committee recommends that the AVA Board of Directors commit to developing a veterinary collection of instruments that will provide an historical perspective and futuristic view of the profession; the collection would need provision for its permanent and accessible display to the public and the profession.

AVA Members would then contribute to building a valuable collection of instruments depicting the development of the profession in Australia. There

7 needs to be a clear future vision for a collection and the part it can play in promoting the veterinary profession. It was agreed that it was not worthwhile progressing to establish a national collection of veterinary instruments of historical significance.

The AVA also has an extensive collection of photographs relating to earlier years of the profession. 6. The Committee recommends to the AVA Board that, in order to ensure the future of the collection of photographs, all available photographs be scanned and digitised so collections can be held at multiple locations to provide for its protection against destruction by fire, damage and/or theft.

This low cost initiative could be undertaken in house but the Committee believes it would be better carried out in a timely manner by a contract service. It would be necessary to transcribe information about the photographs into digital form and to develop a description of the photographs and the historical connection of each. The AVHS can assist with providing the historical connection of the photographs.

Obituary Notices: Dr Trevor Faragher had previously offered to assist the Editor AVJ in coordinating the compilation of obituary notices for publication in the AVJ. There is a process in place to develop a policy on the publication of obituaries. The AVHS is concerned that obituaries are not always published in a timely manner in the AVJ. Obituaries are an important for historically recording the progression of the profession and are useful for future reference. Also, there is no process to ensure that details of significant veterinarians are recorded in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB). 7. The AVHS Committee recommends that the AVA Board:  approve the publication of death notices in the AVJ to ensure there is a timeliness in recording the loss of veterinary members; an obituary notice would be published at a later date and it would be produced in consultation with the deceased’s family  interact with AVHS Committee on the proposals being developed for the future handling of obituaries.  develops a process where the passing of significant veterinarians is recorded in the Australian Dictionary of Biography to maintain the place and face of the profession in contemporary Australian History.

8 The President undertook to inquire and advise whether all obituaries supplied are published in the AVJ.

Email Newsletters: It was agreed that this would be a useful addition for promoting discussion of and AVHS activities. 8. The Committee agreed that the President produce a newsletter and invite someone to volunteer to produce 2/3 newsletters each year in addition to distribution of the AVHR.

Significant historical events should also be placed in the AVA eLine newsletter to maintain a presence within the profession and to promote AVHS activities.

Honorary and Associate Members: While this might have been more relevant some years ago, no non-AVA Member was identified as having sufficiently contributed to AVHS/AVHR activities to warrant nomination to the AVA Board of Directors for Honorary or Associate Membership.

The recommendations to the AVA Board will be submitted for consideration (hopefully) at the October Board meeting.

The views of AVHS members on these matters would be welcome. Please send comments or suggestions to the President Andrew Turner.

Australian Veterinary History Collection

Phillips Model 56 5cc Vaccinator


The article was presented to the Annual and Scientific Meeting of the AVH SIG in Perth on Monday 26 May 2008.


NR Adams and KP Croker Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, South Perth WA 6151

Phyto-oestrogens may cause both temporary and permanent forms of infertility in ewes. Clover infertility refers to the permanent infertility that occurs after prolonged grazing on oestrogenic cultivars of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.). It may occur as part of a syndrome called ‘clover disease’ that includes permanent infertility, dystokia, prolapse of the uterus in ewes and enlarged bulbourethral glands in wethers. This paper is focused on the permanent infertility which develops following prolonged grazing of green subterranean clover based pastures.

Temporary infertility has been observed in ewes grazing oestrogenic forages in many countries. However, permanent infertility was a problem only in Western Australia and South Australia. Temporary infertility resulted from interference with ovulation, and the lower twinning rate normally resolves within 6 to 8 weeks after removal from the oestrogenic pasture. In contrast, permanent infertility affects primarily the ability of ewes to conceive and so increases the proportion of non-pregnant (dry) ewes. It takes at least two seasons of grazing on oestrogenic pasture to develop permanent infertility, and it never resolves. Continued intake of subterranean clovers makes the condition worse.

Clover infertility was first recorded in Western Australia in the 1940s on newly sown clover pastures (Bennetts et al 1946), following the ‘sub and super’ revolution of the 1930s. Lamb marking rates as low as 20% were reported. Early researchers realized quickly that the problem involved phyto-oestrogens, and initial research focused on isolating the compounds in question. Within a few years the isoflavones genistein and biochanin A were isolated from green (but not dry) subterranean clover and their oestrogenic potency was measured in mice. Formononetin was also isolated, and shown to be of lower potency in mice.

10 Because most cultivars of subterranean clover contained these compounds, it was concluded that plant breeding did not offer any opportunities to solve the problem. The clinical problem gradually resolved as pastures got older, so control efforts focused on increasing applications of fertilizer and promoting the proportion of grasses in pastures.

Widespread clearing of land and sowing of clover pastures in the 1960s in Western Australia led to new outbreaks of clover infertility. At this time clover cultivars were tested in sheep, with the surprising result that only cultivars containing significant levels of formononetin caused signs of oestrogenicity (Davies and Bennett 1962). Subsequently, research showed that both genistein and biochanin A were metabolized to non-oestrogenic compounds in the rumen, but formononetin was activated by rumen metabolism to the more oestrogenic compound equol (Cox and Braden 1974). These findings led rapidly to selection of cultivars low in formononetin and the problem declined with the planting of these new cultivars.

By the 1970s clinical clover disease had almost disappeared, but surveys indicated that sub-clinical losses associated with a failure of ewes to conceive were causing the loss of about 1,000,000 lambs annually (Lightfoot 1974). Oestrogenic cultivars remained widespread, and the fertility of the Western Australian Merino flock remained low. Research was initiated to develop diagnostic methods to measure the severity of sub-clinical clover infertility in individual flocks. The most reliable technique used the histology of the cervix, which became transformed to become like a uterus. The accompanying loss of cervical function reduced sperm transport, and so conception rates (Lightfoot et al 1967). A survey using the histology of the cervix as the measure of the effect of the phyto-oestogens in 1983 indicated it was likely that the lambing rates of whole shires in Western Australia were reduced due to the intake of phyto-oestrogens. Other studies though showed that sheep exposed to phyto- oestrogens for several generations could develop genetic resistance to the infertility.

This brief history, dealt with more fully by Adams (1998), illustrates Australia’s under-investment in field-based research on animals. A bias towards laboratory studies explains why the oestrogenicity of clover cultivars was tested in guinea pigs (Alexander and Watson 1951) a decade before it was studied in sheep by Davies and Bennett (1962). An earlier appreciation of the importance of ruminal metabolism of phyto-oestrogens would have led to breeding of low-formononetin cultivars of clover in the 1950s, thereby avoiding

11 the problems suffered in the 1960s. Reduced fertility hindered development of a lamb industry in Western Australia, restricted the rate of genetic progress, and required farmers to use sub-optimal management techniques such as prolonged mating periods and increased feeding levels to obtain replacement sheep.

A further example of under-investment is the 30-year delay from the detection of the problem before diagnostic techniques were addressed. Early workers observed that some sheep could graze highly oestrogenic pastures with apparent impunity, and were convinced that other factors played a role. However, the delay in defining the pathology meant that they could not study these factors.

The history of the investigation of clover infertility also shows the importance of politics in influencing the direction of the research. The initial focus on laboratory-based studies was due to the political expediency of basing major research programs in large centres. In the early phase of research, attention was focused on visible problems while sub-clinical losses were neglected. Finally, pressure applied in the 1960s by some farmers from WA led to direct Commonwealth input into WA on clover infertility, following the appointment of one of us (NRA).

There have been no studies of clover infertility over the past 25 years. As a result, we do not know whether clover infertility has truly disappeared, or whether it still imposes costs on sheep producers in some areas in Western Australia. The lack of research also means that we cannot predict whether a problem may recur in the future.


Adams NR. Pure Appl Chem, 1998; 70:1855-1862. Alexander G, Watson RH. Aust J Agric Res, 1951; 2:480-493. Bennetts HW, Underwood EJ, Shier FL. Aust Vet J, 1946; 22:2-12. Cox RI, Braden AWH. Proc Aust Soc Anim Prod, 1974; 10:122-129. Davies H Lloyd, Bennett D. Aust J Agric Res, 1962; 13:1030-1040. Lightfoot RJ. Proc Aust Soc Anim Prod, 1974; 10:113-121. Lightfoot RJ, Croker KP, Neil HG. Aust J Agric Res, 1967; 18:755-765.


12 The article was presented to the Annual and Scientific Meeting of the AVH SIG in Perth on Monday 26 May 2008.


Dr Jeremy Allen Animal Health Laboratories, Department of Agriculture and Food, 3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth WA 6151

Lupinosis is a mycotoxicosis caused by the ingestion of toxins, known as phomopsins, produced by the fungus Diaporthe toxica (anamorph Phomopsis sp.) which colonises lupin plants. It is recognised primarily as a disease of sheep, but natural outbreaks have also been reported in cattle, goats, donkeys, horses and pigs, and it has been produced experimentally in rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, dogs, ducklings and chickens. As a clinical entity, lupinosis was first recognised in 1872 in Germany when numerous sheep deaths were associated with ingestion of the plant. Since then lupinosis has been reported in the United States of America, Poland, New Zealand, Australia, the Republic of South Africa and Spain. However, it is only in Australia, and particularly Western Australia (the major lupin producer in the world, accounting for 70% of world production), where the dead lupin plant is extensively used as a fodder, that lupinosis assumed major importance. In 1983, lupinosis was estimated to result in an annual economic loss of $16.3 million (1983 dollars).

Lupinosis is mainly characterised by severe liver damage, which results in inappetence, loss of condition, lethargy, jaundice, and often death. The most distinctive feature of the microscopic pathology is arrested and abnormal mitosis of hepatocytes. The course of the disease may be acute, subacute or chronic, depending on the quantity of phomopsins consumed in relation to time. The disease has also been associated with abortion in late pregnant sheep and cattle, death of embryos in early pregnant sheep, up to a 50% reduction in lambing percentage in ewes, reduced wool production and staple strength in sheep, nutritional myopathy in sheep, and starvation ketosis in cattle. Photosensitisation is uncommon in sheep, but is often seen in cattle. Phomopsins are embryotoxic and carcinogenic in rats.

Looking for the cause of the disease

The first intensive studies of lupinosis were conducted in Germany during the eighth and ninth decades of the nineteenth century. From the beginning the Germans believed that a fungal toxin was responsible for the disease, but they 13 were unable to prove it. Among various fungi that they isolated was a new species, Cryptosporium leptostromiforme (Kühn).

By the early 1880’s lupinosis and economic pressures against sheep farming resulted in a decline in the practice of feeding lupin fodder to sheep, and interest in the disease disappeared. For the next 80 years interest in livestock intoxications following the ingestion of lupins concentrated mainly on lupine poisoning due to the quinolizidine alkaloids in the lupins. The distinction between this poisoning and lupinosis became confused. Even as late as 1961 it was stated that, “it seems clear that alkaloids are the cause of lupinosis”.

Following the accidental introduction of the sandplain lupin (Lupinus cosentinii Guss.) late in the nineteenth century, lupins became widely used in farming in Western Australia. Initially the high-alkaloid (bitter) sandplain and New Zealand Blue (variety of L. angustifolius L. - narrow-leafed lupins) lupins were used to improve poor sandy soils and for stock fodder. Subsequently the low- alkaloid (sweet) varieties of L. angustifolius became available in the early 1970’s and these are cropped extensively for seed production and sheep are grazed on the stubbles during summer and autumn. In 1970 there were 12,500 ha of sweet narrow-leafed lupins sown in Western Australia. In 1983, when lupinosis caused $16.3 million in economic loss, 318,900 ha were sown, and by 1995 the area sown had grown to 1,120,000 ha. Since 2002 there has been a decline in the area of lupins sown to about 600,000 ha, for a range of reasons. In addition to these areas it was estimated in the mid-1990’s that the sandplain lupin grew on about 500,000 ha of poor sandy soils in the west Midlands area of Western Australia.

Lupinosis was first recorded in Western Australia in 1948 in sheep grazing dead plants of L. cosentinii. It has subsequently occurred during every summer/autumn since 1950 in sheep grazing either dead bitter lupin plants, or stubbles of sweet, narrow-leafed lupins. The significance of the disease in Western Australia resulted in the second major phase of lupinosis research, which was initiated by H.W. Bennetts and M.R. Gardiner and ended in the 1990’s.

Initially Western Australian researchers considered a deficiency of “liver protective factors”, choline and methionine deficiencies, and excessive accumulation of iron in body tissues as possible causes of the disease. However, by the early 1960’s a toxicogenic fungus was considered the most likely cause, and in 1966 the first conclusive evidence for this was presented.

14 Previously non-toxic lupins were rendered toxic by inoculating and incubating them with a mixed fungal suspension from toxic lupins. It was suggested that the causative fungus was either a Cytospora or Pleospora spp.

In South Africa in 1969 a severe outbreak of lupinosis occurred in sheep grazing a stand of sweet lupins (L. albus L. cv. Pflugs Gela) in which the seeds and pods were heavily infected by a fungus. This was isolated in pure culture, identified as Phomopsis leptostromiformis (Kühn) Bubák, and used in experiments to reproduce the disease in sheep. Meanwhile, Western Australian researchers independently proved that the Cytospora sp. they had originally found in 1966 was the cause of lupinosis, but that its correct identification was P. rossiana (Sacc.) Sacc. Et D. Sacc. Subsequent comparative morphological studies concluded that P. leptostromiformis and P. rossiana were the same. Synonyms for the fungus were Cryptosporium leptostromiforme, Phomopsis leptostromoides and Phoma rossiana.

Thus the search for the causal fungus of lupinosis was concluded 90 years after the Germans first described C. leptostromiforme as a possible cause in one of the first publications on lupinosis. However, this was not the end of the search for the causative fungus.

In 1975 the teleomorph of P. leptostromiformis was found, described and named Diaporthe woodii Punith.. Examination of the morphology and toxicogenicity of different P. leptostromiformis isolates in Western Australia led to the belief that there were two biotypes. These were designated Biotype A (highly toxicogenic) and Biotype B (non-toxicogenic). Subsequent extensive biochemical and cultural studies resulted in these biotypes being raised to varieties in 1991. Biotypes A and B were then named P. leptostromiformis var. leptostromiformis and P. leptostromiformis var. occidentalis Shivas, Allen and Williamson var. nov., respectively. It was also shown that var. occidentalis was in fact weakly toxicogenic. Then, in 1994 a new and distinct teleomorph of the toxicogenic variety was found and described. It was named Diaporthe toxica P.M. Williamson, A.S. Highet, W. Gams & K. Sivasithamparam sp. nov., and it was shown that while the original description of D. woodii was correct, it was in fact the teleomorph of the lowly toxicogenic P. leptostromiformis var. occidentalis, which was the fungus originally described by the South Africans as P. leptostromiformis. So the real cause of lupinosis is not D. woodii (anamorph P. leptostromiformis), but D. toxica (anamorph Phomopsis sp.). However, the two fungi are very

15 similar and often in close association, so these mistakes in identification had little influence on progress made in studying lupinosis.

Control and prevention of lupinosis

Recognition that P. leptostromiformis was the cause of lupinosis was the catalyst for a new surge in research into the disease and its prevention. This was conducted entirely by researchers in the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and a group of scientists in CSIRO in Victoria, led by C.C.J. Culvenor and later J.A. Edgar, who specialised in the study of toxic plants. The two groups worked both independently and in collaboration. Studies were undertaken on the life cycle of the fungus, the morphology of the lesions the fungus produces on lupin plants, conditions under which the fungus is likely to produce the toxins, the epidemiology of the disease, lupin management strategies to control or eradicate the fungus and/or the toxins produced, isolation and identification of the toxins, improved methods for identifying and quantifying the toxins in a range of substrates, sheep and cattle management strategies to minimise the risk or avoid lupinosis when utilising lupins as fodder, and the development of a vaccine against the disease (a vaccine was developed but the level of immunity provided was not sufficient to warrant commercial release). During this period it was also established that lupin seed could be infected by the fungus under certain conditions and develop toxicity. This led to research that developed receival standards that ensured that toxic seed was not exported, and maximum permissible concentrations in lupin products that may be used in human foods. However, the research that had the greatest impact was initiated by J.S. Gladstones and was the breeding program to produce sweet narrow-leafed lupins resistant to infection and colonisation by P. leptostromiformis. This was achieved with a truly multi-disciplinary team of plant breeders, plant pathologists, veterinary pathologists, agricultural scientists, chemists and biochemists. The first Phomopsis-resistant lupin cultivars, Gungurru, Yorrel and Warrah, were commercially released in 1989. Since then, every cultivar of L. angustifolius commercially released has had genes for Phomopsis-resistance.

It needs to be stressed that Phomopsis-resistance does not provide immunity to infection. Phomopsis-resistant lupins still become infected and colonised by D. toxica, but to a substantially less extent, so the risk of lupinosis is greatly reduced. In fact studies have shown that introduction of the Phomopsis- resistant lupins has reduced flock prevalence of lupinosis from 56% to 8%, and

16 sheep mortality from 4% to 0.2%. Lupinosis is no longer considered a disease of major importance to livestock producers in Western Australia.


Allen JG. Lupinosis, a review. Proceedings of the Fourth International Lupin Conference 1986:173-187. Allen JG. Toxins and lupinosis. In: Gladstones JS, Atkins C, Hamblin J, editors. Lupins as Crop Plants; Biology, Production and Utilization. CAB International, Oxon, 1998:411-435.


17 The article was presented to the Annual and Scientific Meeting of the AVH SIG in Perth on Monday 26 May 2008.


Dr.Tom Hart Honorary Librarian, Max Henry Memorial Library P.O.Box 267, Gisborne 3437 Vic.

I received the following e-mail in my capacity as Honorary Librarian to the Max Henry Memorial Library:

I am seeking help on an old method picture or diagram if possible of what Mitchell wrote on thursday(sic) 26th November 1828 quote : "Sent to borrow a horse plegin from Mr Atkinson(sic), but a lanect(sic) only could be provided etc"

I am told that these were used to bleed horses but I can not find any other records after asking many people who deal with horses finnally(sic) two old timers came up with what it was and then a vet suggested I contact you.

My contact is phone 48844118 mob 0413575679 po(sic) box 110 Marulan 2579 NSW or email(sic) [email protected]

The e-mail was forwarded and had the following comment by the veterinarian who forwarded it:

Dear Mr Porter

Plegins and lancets were indeed instruments that were used to bleed horses. There may be a plegin in the Robert I Taylor Veterinary Historical Collection. This collection is now in Sydney and Dr Frank Doughty is the Honorary Curator of the collection. You could contact him at [email protected].

Alternatively there may a photograph or picture of these early veterinary instruments in one or more of the books in the Max Henry Memorial Library. You could contact the Honorary Librarian of the MHML, Dr Tom Hart, at [email protected] to enquire whether he knows of a book in the library collection which contains an illustration or photograph of these instruments.



The e-mail was the first of fifteen on the subject over a period of several months.

I now ask readers to consider what their response would have been to such a request. My response was inadequate and this short paper is to describe what went wrong.

I made a classic error, which any experienced veterinary practitioner should have avoided. I accepted the interpretations of someone referring a problem to me rather than investigating the whole proposition for myself starting from the beginning. I learned very early in veterinary practice not to do this but failed in applying the lesson to veterinary history. I should have ignored the statement of the referring veterinarian that “Plegins and lancets were indeed instruments that were used to bleed horses.”. I should also have asked to see the original text of the quote: “Sent to borrow a horse plegin from Mr Atkinson, ----”

Had I followed the basic principle of examining the whole problem for myself from the beginning I could have saved myself a lot of time but instead I began an investigation based on assumptions I should not have made.

There was no mention of an instrument called a “plegin” in any veterinary or farriery book I consulted and no mention in any dictionary including the complete Oxford English Dictionary. I found mention of a plegin as a mitochondrial protein but this was irrelevant.

Because the term provided was ”horse plegin” I surmised that there may exist another type of plegin as well as a horse plegin – perhaps a human medical one – so I asked a doctor friend, who is 75 years old, if he had heard of the instrument. He said he had and that the instrument consisted of several blades.

I forwarded photographs of lancets and fleams to the person who made the inquiry and said I could find no reference to a plegin but that it could be a medical instrument. He should consult medical historians. Geoff Downs, historian to the Royal College of Surgeons, did what any historian should have done. He insisted on seeing the original document rather than relying on someone else’s, interpretation as I had. This is the e-mail he sent:


Thanks for sending me the scan of the handwritten page. The word certainly looks like what you have deciphered. The first letter is definitely 'p', then 'l', 'e', 'g'. The last letter however seems to me to be 'm' (compare with the following word 'from'), not 'in'.

This gives us 'plegm', which as far as I know exists only as a variant of 'phlegm' (ie the stuff you cough up). But it is getting closer. It may be a pure misspelling, or an obscure dialectical variant of 'fleam'. But on the other hand, the OED also notes that 'fleam' is an obscure and obsolete dialectical variant of 'phlegm', and perhaps this is the source of Mitchell's spelling. Quite confusing really, but I do think that the tool we are talking about is a fleam, which was first described in 1616 as "a lancet for bleeding horses".

Photos of drawings sent by Geoff Downs also explained what my doctor friend was confusing with a plegin. There was an instrument called a “scarifactor” consisting of several blades.

Des Porter slowly got the message. I have no way of knowing who Des is but he was intent on sticking to his erroneous reading of the diary. My advice to him was to not mention the word plegin in his account because I believe it to be a misinterpretation. The word is plegm and can be taken to mean “fleam” in my opinion.

It is of interest to note that a veterinarian and a doctor, both of high repute, were quite ready to say they knew about plegins. I think there is very serious doubt about the existence, at any time, of an instrument called a plegin. Strange how we will sometimes convince ourselves that something exists rather than appear ignorant by saying we have not heard of it. This human failing and the tendency to not admit an error, are factors which contribute to bad history and science. Others in a long list include vanity, wishing to impress rather than offend, ignorance, incompetence, avarice, prejudice and fear of reprisals. All cause scientists and historians to fail in their duty to record their findings accurately and honestly. Scientists and historians should be aware of these influences and strive to avoid them.


20 The article was presented to the Annual and Scientific Meeting of the AVH SIG in Perth on Monday 26 May 2008.


Dr Malcolm McLennan 25 Fairweather St, Kenmore Qld 4069 Casual teacher, University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science

In the light of the recent outbreak of Equine Influenza in Queensland and New South Wales, it is interesting to note that the first veterinary school in the world was established in Lyon, France, in 1762 in direct response to the threat posed by cattle plague or rinderpest. Rinderpest was also the reason for establishing the first State veterinary service and undertaking the first veterinary conference in the world.

It is also interesting to note that the Global Rinderpest Eradication Program (GREP), established in the late 1980’s is on target to eradicate rinderpest from the world by 2010. As this group would know, veterinary science can be very effective in disease eradication, with lots of examples in Australia.

The chronology of establishment of veterinary schools in Australia is as follows:

 1909 School of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne (1909- 1928; 1963 – to present day)  1910 School of Veterinary Science, Sydney; oldest continually operating veterinary school in Australia, celebrates its centenary in 2010  1936 School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland (closed during war years 1942-1945; 1945-1950 students in years four and five educated at Sydney University)  1975 School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Murdoch, WA  2005 School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga, NSW  2006 School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville  2008 Veterinary Science program at University of Adelaide commences - 6 year, two-degree program with an intake of approximately 50 students.

21 In this presentation, I don’t intend to say anything about the Melbourne Veterinary College established in January 1888 in Fitzroy by WT Kendall.

School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University

As this paper is being presented in Perth, the author will spend a moment talking about the establishment of Australia’s fourth veterinary school. I point out that this is well covered in a book written by emeritus professor Bill Clark1. In 1968, the Australian Universities Council set up an enquiry into the need or otherwise for a fourth veterinary school in Australia. After much debate about the school’s location (Armidale, NSW versus Perth), in March 1970 Nigel Bowen announced that Australia’s fourth veterinary school was to be established in the (then) new Murdoch University in Perth. Since 1979 the school has produced some 1520 graduates and it is a matter of some note that two of the school’s eight Deans have gone on to become Vice Chancellors in WA and the NT (John Yovich and Malcolm Nairn).

The influence of veterinary education on graduates over the last five decades

As documented in three excellent papers by Emeritus Professor Trevor Heath, 2,3,4 a slight majority of graduates from the 1950’s went into Government service (53%), while the remainder entered private practice, particularly in country areas and 45% of their work was with cattle, either dairy or beef. One would assume that the veterinary education these graduates received prepared them well for both solo practice work and for clinical work with farm animal species.

During ensuing decades, veterinarians in both Government and private practice successfully controlled endemic diseases such as bovine pleuropneumonia, tuberculosis and brucellosis, while outbreaks of exotic diseases such as swine fever and atrophic rhinitis were also successfully contained.

The same papers document a retreat from Government employment in more recent decades, with most veterinary graduates entering private practice (>95%) and working increasingly with cats and dogs, both in mixed practice and increasingly in cities with a documented reluctance of new graduates who initially went into mixed practice to stay in that type of practice situation. Again the emphasis in veterinary education during this period was in producing

22 clinicians, and this sat comfortably with the desire of the great majority of new graduates to enter private practice in order to ‘work with animals’.

New veterinary schools and ‘vets in the bush’

Although the Frawley report in 20035 recommended against the establishment of any new veterinary schools other than the existing schools in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, new veterinary schools have been created, as documented above, at Charles Sturt University, James Cook University and most recently at the University of Adelaide which accepts its first intake in 2008. A cynical view concerning the establishment of these schools, but perhaps held with some justification, is that these new veterinary schools have been established for overtly political reasons.

Whatever the reasons, at least two of these schools were established to address the shortage of veterinarians working in rural areas, a problem that also exists in North America, and these new schools have used different selection criteria (interviews, written applications etc) to try and select students from a rural background who will return to these areas after graduation. It is too early to say whether this will work, however, the only published information in this area is a series of papers by Emeritus Professor Trevor Heath 6,7,8. In a longitudinal study of UQ graduates extending over 20 years (1986-2006), Professor Heath found that, although about half of veterinary graduates start their careers in mixed practice in rural areas, most leave within a few years. This applies to those who grew up on farms with animals to almost the same extent as for those from other backgrounds. Although after 15 years, a slightly higher percentage of graduates with a farming background remain working in mixed practice and arguably make a greater contribution to the animal industries than those with another background, it should be pointed out that the vast majority of the potential working time of these veterinarians remaining in mixed practice is directed at small animals and not farm animals.

Veterinarians in public health, biosecurity and other related areas

Two recent papers, one in North America and the other in Australia 9,10 suggest that the core objective of veterinary science is public health. Leighton (2004) 9 stated that in North America veterinarians do clinical practice, especially companion animal practice and not much else. Leighton saw this emphasis on companion animals as a largely nonessential service and used the allegory of

23 the lifeboat test, where society is heading for an iceberg (increasing human population and human activity), to suggest that the profession as currently orientated, would fail the iceberg test and go down like the Titanic. His solution: redefine the fundamental nature of a veterinarian and then redesign veterinary education in this new image. He states “current curricula assume clinical practice as the outcome of a veterinary education” and prescribes a core curriculum with options/electives for students to complete their veterinary degrees such as epidemiology, regulatory medicine and public health on an equal footing with clinical practice.

In Australia, Whittington (2006) 10 puts forward the proposition that veterinary science exists to ensure public health and exemplifies this by stating that 75% of new human diseases have spread from animals. He states that as a profession, we market the value of companion animal practice very effectively, but that other veterinary activities such as the benefits of veterinary engagement in food production and our enviable status in animal health and residue status are marketed far less effectively.

Whittington further states that the concerns of veterinarians, and therefore of veterinary schools should be broadened to focus on:  Public health outcomes  The control of risks along the food chain and  The welfare of animals

He emphasizes that graduates need to be made aware of career paths other than just clinical practice and sees communication skills, life skills and team building as non-negotiable,critical attributes of future veterinarians, thus emphasizing the need for curriculum alignment with future societal needs.


The opinions of the author of this history paper are as follows:  Medical and surgical skills taught to undergraduates are the non- negotiable foundation of the skill set that makes a veterinarian, however  Undergraduates need to be made aware of career options other than clinical practice  Therefore core subjects, plus medicine and surgery need to be carefully integrated with an expanded emphasis on public health, biosecurity,

24 animal welfare, preservation of biodiversity etc in veterinary school curricula  The veterinary profession is in imminent danger of an oversupply of veterinarians, and  The profession needs to mount an independent inquiry into numbers of graduates needed in all areas of veterinary activity in Australia as a matter of urgency.


1. Clark W & Grandage J, 2005. Early history of the Murdoch Veterinary School. Office of Continuing Veterinary Education, Murdoch. 2. Heath TJ, 2005. Recent veterinary graduates over the last five decades: initial career experiences. Aust Vet J, 83: 626-632. 3. Heath TJ, 2005. Recent veterinary graduates over the last five decades: recollections and perceptions. Aust Vet J, 83: 682-687. 4. Heath TJ, 2005. Recent veterinary graduates over the last five decades: the first 10 years. Aust Vet J, 83: 746-750. 5. Frawley PT, 2003. Review of Rural Veterinary Services. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry Australia and Commonwealth Department of Education Science & Training, Canberra. 6. Heath TJ, 2007. Longitudinal study of veterinary students and veterinarians the first 20 years. Aust Vet J, 85: 281-289. 7. Heath TJ, 2007. Longitudinal study of veterinary students and veterinarians: family and gender issues after 20 years. Aust Vet, 85: 290- 295. 8. Heath TJ, 2007. Longitudinal study of veterinary students and veterinarians: effects of growing up on a farm with animals. Aust Vet J, 85: 296-299. 9. Leighton FA, 2004. Veterinary medicine and the lifeboat test: A perspective on the social relevance of the veterinary profession in the 21st century. Can Vet J, 45: 259-263. 10 Whittington R, 2006. Global veterinary defence: where to from here veterinary science? Aust Vet J, 84: 265-270.


25 The article was presented to the Annual and Scientific Meeting of the AVH SIG in Darwin on Monday 18 May 2009.


Lorna Melville1 and Peter Hooper2 1. OIC Berrimah Veterinary Laboratory Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources, Post Office Box 3000, Darwin, Northern Territory, 0801

2. (former head of DRDPIF&R) 684 Shelford-Meredith Road, Bamganie, Vic., 3333

1946 to 1950 Colonel AL Rose, Chief Veterinary Officer, started the laboratory at the rear of the Animal Industry Branch (AIB) head office, initially with chemistry, then pathology, bacteriology, and later, botany and zoology. The site was temporary as it lacked space, was away from yards and paddocks, and was extremely uncomfortable. In 1948, a square mile area south of Alice Springs became the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI) and yards and buildings were constructed to work with large animals and a laboratory animal colony was established. There were plans to establish the laboratory on this site, which were not realised until 1967. Chemistry, with Thelma Ellis, was the first priority as it was needed to analyse waters in stock route bores essential for nearly all livestock movements at the time, and to measure insecticide levels for cattle tick in dips to ensure potency. The first Senior Veterinary Research Officer, Alan Banks, a bacteriologist, and some staff were appointed soon after. 1951 to 1960 Later in the decade, Rose retired and was replaced by Jim Whittem. Jim, because of his training in pathology, also became the first pathologist.

The control of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CPP) was a priority. A serologist, Arch Campbell, transferred to the laboratory from CSIRO. Research and technology for microbiology, serology and vaccines, were incorporated, including Campbell’s complement fixation test for serum antibody (CFT).

26 From then until the mid 70’s, Bacteriologists Win Pearson, Francis Dickinson- Jones and Jim Gilfedder undertook Alice Springs hospital bacteriology as well as veterinary work. The laboratory supported the work by Rose into the major equine diseases, ‘walkabout’, that showed the hepatotoxic Crotalaria retusa is the main cause, and that Birdsville disease was shown to be caused by consumption of Birdsville indigo (Indigofera linnaei).

George Chippendale, a botanist, was appointed, who established the N.T herbarium in Alice Springs. His very able assistant was Des Nelson. Other poisonous plants were a disproportionate cause of concern in the undeveloped NT. Chemistry was strengthened by the appointments of Bruce Jephcott and Ray Murray, and the latter, with Jim Whittem, showed fluoracetate was the toxin in Georgina Gidyea poisoning, an important cause of losses in cattle. Later scientists working in chemistry included Brian Siebert, and Dean Newman who performed valuable work on the nutrition of native pasture.

Rose also appointed a field biologist, Warren Hitchcock, and later, Alan Newsome, who worked on kangaroos. In this and later decades, chemistry, botany and field biology were to take roles in much broader areas. Many extension articles were prepared in the laboratory on a variety of matters of importance to the pastoral industry.

1961 to 1970 In 1963, AIB was merged with the Agriculture Branch to form the Animal Industry and Agriculture Branch, directed by Goff Letts after Jim Whittem’s transfer to CSIRO, with Barry Hart as OIC of the laboratory. The enlarged Branch included the Darwin Laboratory at Berrimah provided increased numbers of scientific disciplines. In this decade, there was, at last, construction of the laboratory at AZRI, which was opened on 8 November 1967.

Work on CPP continued at an accelerated rate in the laboratory in tandem with eradication in the field, particularly by Win Pearson, who was soon to follow Whittem to CSIRO. Special isolation yards were constructed at AZRI for work on CPP. Senior Serologist G. McPherson established the mobile laboratory that ensured that the testings for CPP, and later bovine brucellosis, when made mandatory, were done in such a way there was minimal disruption to cattle trade/movements. This laboratory was stationed at remote localities for weeks on end.


Analyses of Birdsville indigo by Chemist Ray Murray indicated an amino acid analogue of arginine, indospicine, is an important toxin in Birdsville disease and Peter Hooper showed arginine–rich supplements were shown to be preventives and treatments for the disease.

1971 to 1980 By the end of 1970, eradication of CPP was near completion, and in 1973, the official national program of eradication of brucellosis and tuberculosis commenced. AZRI and the Berrimah Veterinary Laboratory (BVL) in Darwin laboratories supported the TB campaign by histopathological confirmation of lesions, isolation of the organism, and isolation and study of other atypical mycobacteria. The laboratory also assisted in a large test of PPD tuberculin including about 400 necropsies of cattle tested with two forms of tuberculin.

Field veterinary officers Owen (Taffy) Williams and Peter Hooper completed postgraduate training in pathology at Melbourne University to replace Jim Whittem. Later, Denise McEwen continued the same trend of NT field veterinarians by transferring to the laboratory.

Godfrey McPherson in the mobile laboratory used both the Rose Bengal Test (RBT) and the laboratory’s own single dilution complement fixation test CFT as primary tests. He modified the CFT so that it provided the result in 5 hours for large numbers of samples. Interstate, the RBT only was used as the primary test, with the CFT as confirmation, but in the Northern Territory where there may be minimal chances of retests, a dual combined test was preferred to maximise sensitivity. When possible, the anamnestic test using 45/20 vaccine was also used for the same reason.

A multidisciplinary team led by Peter Hooper was involved in establishing the foundation for the future Ayers Rock – Mt Olga National Park and identifying the site of the future township, Uluru. It worked with CSIRO in the study of dingo ecology, for example, the seasonality of male dingos’ breeding, and recognised the canine viral diseases, distemper and canine hepatitis in field epidemics in dingoes. It also confirmed the presence of canine transmissible venereal tumour in dogs in Australia for the first time. There was also mass testing of hundreds of wild pigs for diseases, the most common of which were parasites, atypical mycobacteria, melioidosis, and chronic pyrrolizidine alkaloid poisoning.

28 In poisonous plant investigations, Peter Hooper in association with seeds agronomist, Peter Harrison, identified sorghum contamination by Crotalaria retusa as the cause of disease in animals fed prepared feedstuffs and as a threat to the export grain industry. It was a serious disease in domestic pigs, but its real importance was the timely intervention of a 10,000 tonne consignment of contaminated sorghum already loaded for export to Russia for human consumption. Likewise, Swainsona canescens was newly recognised as a threat in areas of central Australia. Denise McEwen, Taffy Williams and interstate scientists, Merv Hegarty, Roger Kelly and Dick Cameron, showed dogs affected by a severe chronic hepatic disease were intoxicated by consumption of horsemeat derived from horses eating Birdsville indigo (Indigofera linnaei). The horses had accumulated indospicine in their muscles. This was another occasion when an unknown disease was traced back to a subtle origin, an intoxication that had passed through one host to another.

The Darwin Laboratory increased its role in diagnosis and research. Lorna Melville, like her Alice Springs counterparts, moved from the field to laboratory to work in pathology and later virology. Bacteriologist Jim Gilfedder and other staff transferred from Alice Springs to Darwin.

Following the isolation of bluetongue virus by CSIRO, the laboratories assisted with handling large numbers of serum samples for Toby St. George and his team in CSIRO to test. The actual work, at the beginning of the wet season, involved testing every cattle property in the northern areas within about two months, a remarkable achievement. Subsequently, a virology laboratory was constructed adjacent to the main Darwin Laboratory at Berrimah and staffed with trained virologists and technicians. The laboratory was named the A. L. Rose Virology Laboratory, with the official opening on 15th September 1979. Experienced veterinary virologists were rare in Australia at that time and so it was fortunate to obtain the services of Geoff Gard as the first senior virologist.

1981-1990 The opening of the virology laboratory produced a decade of extremely productive work on the arboviruses affecting livestock in the Northern Territory. Richard Weir was appointed as the senior virology technician. The laboratory assumed the role of CSIRO of virus isolation from sentinel cattle bloods resulting in the isolation of numerous new viruses including five new bluetongue serotypes and two viruses related to bovine ephemeral fever virus. Research projects included examining bovine semen for the presence of viruses transmitted through the reproductive tract and monitoring pregnant

29 cows for any pathology associated with virus infection during pregnancy. Work with other viruses included equine infectious anaemia transmission trials in horses and showing that buffalo were refractory to infection with enzootic bovine leucosis virus. With the departure of Geoff Gard, Lorna Melville took over as the senior veterinary virologist.

Throughout the 1980’s, both the laboratories at AZRI and Berrimah had large increases in brucellosis CFTs, to about 413,000 in 1981/82 and 350,000 in 1983/84. During these years, smaller temporary laboratories operated at Brunette Downs and the Katherine office, and mobile laboratories were used at Avon Downs, the southern VRD and Tipperary Station. Large increases were also seen in the sample submission for tuberculosis testing, with around 2000 cultures performed annually. Cooperative research projects with CSIRO involved field-testing of two serological tests for tuberculosis – the ELISA and the gamma interferon. Other research projects included assessing the persistence of Mycobacterium bovis in cattle dips and the identification of pigs as a dead end host for tuberculosis.

During the 1980s the commercial farming of crocodiles commenced. Many diseases were seen in the early days of farming as appropriate techniques were being developed. Parasitic disease was particularly important. Three new parasites of crocodiles were discovered and described by Lorna Melville and parasitology technician Jenny Purdie with interstate and overseas collaborators. Advice on control measures was provided to farmers.

1991-2000 With the eradication of brucellosis from Australia in 1989, the virtual removal of tuberculosis from the Alice Springs region and the expansion of the Berrimah laboratory, the demand for the services of the AZRI laboratory declined. In 1991 the closure of the veterinary section of the laboratory was announced. Equivalent staff were transferred or appointed, including Anton Janmaat and David Pritchard.

Testing for brucellosis ceased in 1991 but the demand for tuberculosis culture remained high for most of the decade. Following the declaration of TB freedom at the end of 1997 sample submissions declined, although granuloma submissions from the abattoirs continued for the next few years and an occasional TB breakdown was detected.

30 In 1991 the National Arbovirus Monitoring Program (NAMP) commenced and this led to an expansion in the number of sentinel herds and demand for virus isolation and serological testing for the major arboviral diseases bluetongue, Akabane and bovine ephemeral fever. Neville Hunt was appointed as the senior virology technician to manage the program. New viruses continued to be isolated. A joint project between the Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories (BVL) and the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) at Geelong facilitated the introduction of new molecular technologies and electron microscopy. A selection of bluetongue isolates, sequenced and genotyped, enabled the regional origin of the viruses to be identified. Genotyping identified new incursions of viruses from Southeast Asia and reassortment of these viruses with Australian strains was demonstrated.

New viral diseases were also identified in horses and macropods. A virus was isolated from five horses with encephalitis. This virus was shown to be identical to a virus isolated from horses with encephalitis in Peru. Another virus was isolated from three wallaroos with severe systemic disease.

During the 1990s the Berrimah laboratory became involved in overseas projects providing training to scientists from China and Indonesia. Neville Hunt and Lorna Melville also worked in China providing training and assisting in developing monitoring programs.

Following an assessment of the capability of Australian veterinary laboratories to respond to an exotic disease a decision was made to construct a new veterinary laboratory. Construction commenced in February 1997 and the new laboratory was opened in April 1998. The new laboratory was joined to the existing virology laboratory, which was renovated to comply with new standards for physical containment.

The development of the aquaculture industry in the Darwin region led to increased demand for aquatic animal pathology services and a specialist fish pathologist, John Humphrey, was appointed in June 1999. 2001-2009 To be able to participate in national programs or export certification testing, veterinary laboratories were required to obtain National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accreditation. BVL achieved this in February 2001. Successful reaccreditation occurred in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

31 The completion of the tuberculosis eradication led to decreased sample submissions both directly and through a reduction in field staff available for general surveillance. Increasing aquaculture submissions compensated for this decline for most of the early 2000s. Significant diseases involving bacteria, parasites and viruses were identified. New disease syndromes were also identified in the crocodile industry with specific research being carried out by senior pathologist Ian Jerrett into the role of Chlamydia in a severe pharyngitis affecting hatchlings.

New viruses continued to be isolated. In 2007 and 2008 new bluetongue serotypes were isolated. The numbers of unidentified viruses isolated through the NAMP continued to grow and a new project with AAHL was funded through the Australian Biosecurity CRC to characterise some six new viruses using molecular techniques. Other research projects in virology were directed to improving surveillance in remote areas, protecting cattle from insect attack, assessing different surveillance systems for flaviviruses and improving tests for cattle viruses.

BVL continued to be involved in overseas projects, with training provided to scientists from Timor Leste and Sabah and advisory visits made by parasitologist Lois Small to Timor Leste, Neville Hunt to Indonesia, Anton Janmaat to Vietnam and Sabah and Lorna Melville to Sabah.

In recent years reductions in funding have led to a gradual reduction in staffing. In 2008 the Northern Territory government announced that Berrimah Farm would be redeveloped for housing. The impact of this on the veterinary laboratory is not clear at this time.


32 The article was presented to the Annual and Scientific Meeting of the AVH SIG in Darwin on Monday 18 May 2009.


Brian Radunz Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources Post Office Box 3000, Darwin, Northern Territory, 0801

Introduction Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), brucellosis and tuberculosis (TB) are ubiquitous diseases of cattle that occur in most cattle populations unless eradication programs have been put in place. CBPP was known to occur in the Territory in the 1880s, TB in the early 1900s and brucellosis in 1964. While the three diseases affect cattle clinically and brucellosis and tuberculosis are potential zoonotic diseases, the major drivers for eradication were threats of loss of market access to eastern and southern Australia and to export markets.

CBPP was introduced to Australia in five shorthorn cattle to a farm near Melbourne in 1858. The disease spread quickly and had spread to the Gulf of Carpentaria by 1864 (Newton and Norris 2000). The disease spread to the northern parts of the Northern Territory and Kimberleys with the droving mobs that followed the coastal route through the Gulf country. Reinfection of southern areas due to droving cattle moving south occurred as early as 1895. In order to protect the southern cattle industry from reinfection there was mounting pressure in the 1950s to eradicate CBPP from Australia with the development of a national CBPP eradication program with national cost sharing between governments (National Pleuropneumonia Fund) by the late 1950s.

Lehane (1996) provides an excellent summary of the eradication of bovine brucellosis and TB. While by the early 1970s there had been very good progress in the eradication of TB from dairy cattle and from beef cattle in the farming areas of eastern and southern Australia, TB was still widely distributed at varying prevalence in the rangeland areas of central and northern Australia. Voluntary eradication programs for bovine brucellosis and TB had commenced including vaccination with Strain 19 vaccination for brucellosis. It was not until 1970 that there was a national program, known as the Brucellosis and

33 Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign (BTEC) with cost sharing by governments and industry that the eradication of brucellosis and TB began in earnest. Australia was declared free from bovine pleuropneumonia in 1973, free from bovine brucellosis in 1989 and free from bovine tuberculosis in 1997. This paper describes the eradication of three diseases in the Northern Territory from the 1950s to 1997. These achievements were an extraordinary outcome that has not been achieved in any other country grazing cattle in an extensive production system.

Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia Colonel Rose, who was appointed to be the Northern Territory Chief Veterinary Officer in 1946 noted that the 20th parallel S was the approximate southern limit of CBPP (Newton and Norris 2000), concluding that the hot dry climatic conditions in central Australia were not conducive to the transmission of CBPP despite the high probability of infected animals being moved into the area. In 1955 a large part of the area south of 20th parallel S was declared a Protected Area for CBPP (Central Australia Protected Area known as the CAPA). The area was contiguous with a large part of South Australia excluding the channel country at a similar disease status. Conditions for entry from endemic areas were defined.

Earlier it had been observed that in the Northern Territory consistent with other parts of Australia unless vaccination prior to droving was done the disease often appeared in the travelling mobs despite a low level of clinical infection on the properties of origin of the droved cattle. This was presumably due to disease spread from carrier animals initiated by the stresses of walking long distances for extended periods (Newton and Norris 2000).

The mandatory vaccination of droving mobs put in place in 1945 by Army authorities was continued and Rose instituted continuous control of the droving mobs by regular inspections by veterinary officers and stock inspectors with the objective to have “clean” mobs prior to entry to the Alice Springs area or Queensland. Clinical cases were destroyed and samples submitted for laboratory examination, quarantine instituted and a repeat vaccination might be necessary.

As during good seasons during the 1950s 160,000 cattle could use the stock routes (Lonsdale 2006), good planning and sufficient staff resources were essential to manage the stock routes facilities and cattle tick and CBPP control.

34 Stock reserves were established along the stock routes as a quarantine reserve or to rest tired cattle. There was a major increase in the number of veterinary officers and stock inspectors during the 1950s and 1960s (Hare 1985)

Abattoir surveillance was used to determine the distribution and prevalence of the disease. There was an extensive vaccination program from 1949 to 1967 with the peak vaccination in 1963 and 1964 (Newton and Norris 2000). During the 1950s about 100,000 vaccinations were done each year increasing to about 200,000 annually in the early 1960s. Vaccination ceased in all areas by the end of 1970.

CBPP was not detected in the feral swamp buffalo in Top End of the Northern Territory and transmission experiments demonstrated that swamp buffalo were not very susceptible to infection.

Progress with eradication In 1958 the CAPA was proclaimed free from CBPP as a result of collaborative planning and action between the Northern Territory and South Australia following negative surveillance at abattoirs and in the field. The successful approach for disease control provided encouragement for future eradication in the north. Structured eradication activity commenced in 1961 with the last viable lesion detected in 1967 and freedom was declared in 1973.

The last evidence of endemic infection in the Barkly Tablelands was in 1959. As there was little evidence of CBPP in cattle in the Katherine and Darwin areas based on abattoir surveillance and field testing, the Barkly Tablelands and Katherine and Darwin areas were declared Protected Areas in 1964 with the Victoria River district being the remaining Endemic Area (Newton and Norris 2000). Cattle moving between Areas required a negative blood test (Complement Fixation Test - CFT) prior to movement.

In 1963 there were CBPP clinical cases in both resident and travelling cattle in the Victoria River district. The last confirmed case of CBPP was in 1967. From 1968 to 1972 1.5 million cattle lungs from northern Australia were examined at abattoirs with no confirmed evidence of CBPP.

35 Staff involved in the pleuro eradication program included:

Darwin Region Mick Bailey, Ron Ball, Naish Ganley, Bill Gee, Barry Hart, Goff Letts, Dave Napier, Brian Rideout, Noel Ross and Cammy White.

Katherine Region Len Brodie, Tom Gaffney, Peter Hooper, Patsy Hayes, Reg Huston, Alf Humble, Gavin McDonald, Joe Mahood, Peter McCracken, Bruce Paine, Kevin Paterson, Ernie Rayner, Jim Reilly, Neil Stanley, Roger Steele and Cammy White.

Tennant Creek Region Allan Carrington and Rod Dixon,

Alice Springs Region Bryden Ganley, Naish Ganley, Peter Hooper, Marshall Irving, Don Mack, Godfrey McPherson, Denis Morgan, Dave Newton-Tabrett, Garry Paige, Cliff Rideout, Lionel Rose, Bill Steemson and Jim Whittem

Success Factors There was extraordinary progress in less than 20 years. A high level of protection was provided by vaccination prior to the start of a droving trip and on the property, a high level of supervision of droving cattle by stock inspectors, an effective serological test, combined with the transition from droving to road transport and dedicated cattle property owners, managers and ringers, stock inspectors and veterinarians facilitated the eradication of CBPP from Northern Territory cattle.

The change from droving cattle to trucks and road trains, enabled by the beef roads program which commenced in 1961, to transport cattle to market had a major complementary effect to disease control strategies (Newton and Norris 2000). In 1959 the proportion of Northern Territory cattle transported by road was 25% and by 1965 was 76%. The establishment of the Darwin Export abattoir in 1963 and Katherine Export abattoir in 1964 also diminished the need for northern cattle to do long droving trips for marketing.

36 Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Prior to the 1970s the only mandatory programs for TB in the Northern Territory were a small number of dairy herds supplying milk in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs. During the 1960s a number of properties in the Barkly Tablelands and Alice Springs area had adopted voluntary programs to control the losses caused by brucellosis and condemnations at abattoirs due to TB. While it was initially thought that brucellosis would be more difficult to eradicate due to the epidemiology of the disease, this did not eventuate with Australia declared free of Brucellosis in 1989. It was not until 1997 that Australia was declared free from TB requiring a considerable injection of additional funding in the early 1980s and in 1990. About 20% of the total BTEC funding of $1000M was expended in the Northern Territory despite the Territory having about 5% of the Australian cattle herd.

Both diseases became topical from the mid 1960s associated with the export meat market to the United States, the major export beef market at the time. Carcases with any tubercular lesions were not eligible for the export market. In addition United States authorities advised that the United States expected to free from both diseases by 1984. In order to maintain market access the cattle industry and governments decided to conduct a national Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign (BTEC) with cost sharing and standard definitions and rules with a milestone to be provisionally free by 1984 and free by 1992. In fact, Australia achieved impending free status for TB in 1992 and free status for TB in 1997.

Except for most properties in the Barkly Tablelands, a few properties in the Katherine area and the feral swamp buffalo herds on the coastal plains near Darwin the initial prevalence of TB was less than 1% but most properties were infected. One property on the Barkly Tablelands had 5.5% of carcases condemned at the abattoir during the period from 1965 to 1968 and TB testing of 15,000 head from 1962 to 1966 yielded 14% reactors (Lehane 1996). Up to 40% reactors were detected in tests of mobs of bulls. Brucellosis was common on the Barkly Tablelands (one property had an initial prevalence of 30%) and in the Alice Springs area with only sporadic infected cattle properties in the Darwin and Katherine areas associated with cattle movements from Barkly Tablelands properties.

37 Brucellosis was not detected in the feral swamp buffalo herds with over 100,000 negative tests from abattoir monitoring associated with destocking of feral buffalo for TB eradication.

The high prevalence of both diseases in the Barkly Tablelands was presumed to be due to the high contact rate of cattle due to large numbers of cattle watering and resting at bores during the day. There could be 2000 to 3000 cattle at a bore despite the paddock stocking rate being only 10 head per square kilometre.

During the 1960s a number of station owners in the Barkly Tablelands and Alice Springs areas instituted voluntary eradication programs by the traditional eradication program of testing all adult cattle and slaughter of reactors. Tuberculin testing of adult cattle resulted in a rapid decrease in prevalence but eradication progress was slow. It became apparent that an alternative strategy needed to be adopted to eradicate TB especially if there was a high initial prevalence of the disease. By the late 1960s a cattle property manager, Percy Crumblin, and departmental vets, Peter Hooper and Dave Tabrett, developed the strategy of heifer segregation with herd turnover (the older breeder cows being replaced by the younger tested heifers) within 5 years (Lehane 1996). Trevor Schmidt was an influential industry innovator during the early 1970s.

An essential strategy to achieve eradication progress was weaning and age segregation with age segregation continued until slaughter combined with regular tests and clean musters. There was a need for significant infrastructure investment in watering facilities, subdivisional fencing and drafting and testing yards so that the age groups could be kept segregated and the groups of cattle able to be tested regularly and quickly. Station owners often had to double the number of stock camps due to the extra stock work that was required.

While weaning and age segregation was a common factor for all eradication programs, the owners of some properties elected to retain their older breeder cows under test with turnoff to slaughter at the end of their breeding life. Eradication in these herds generally took much longer with a few properties having a history of breakdowns as late as the mid 1990s.

In the Alice Springs district where the initial TB prevalence was less than 1%, whole herd TB testing was successful. The low stocking rates in the Alice Springs area did not sustain additional fencing for weaner segregation programs.

38 In the Katherine and Darwin areas a similar approach to that used in the Barkly Tablelands was used for TB eradication. However, as there was a lot of country that was difficult to achieve cattle control necessary for disease eradication or the carrying capacity did not justify capital expenditure, there was significant destocking of both aged cattle from paddocks and all cattle from other areas (uncontrolled areas known as “bush areas). There was a consistent finding that the number of unmustered cattle in both paddocks under test and in bush areas was at least twice as many as the station managers and helicopter pilots had estimated.

Destocking was initially done by commercial mustering for slaughter at abattoirs. When mustering was no longer profitable as the number of musterable cattle decreased, destocking was completed by shooting from helicopters in a grid pattern followed by completion of destocking by radio- tracking techniques (Lehane 1996). The approach was to send the older cattle to slaughter and retain the younger cattle under a test and slaughter program comprising both heifer segregation and testing of heifers and younger cows. While the age for destocking cows was generally 7 years, the age of retention of breeders might be lower if the TB prevalence was higher or there were inadequate paddocks.

In the early 1980s BTEC evolved significantly with the cattle industry having a greater management and funding role when it was apparent that the traditional and slaughter program had to be amended to achieve eradication in the extensive grazing areas in central and northern Australia.

National funding for compensation for destocking became available in 1982. From 1984 new financial assistance measures became available to subsidise the costs of holding cattle for the reading of the TB test, low cost loans for infrastructure necessary for disease eradication, a freight subsidy for restocking and an interest subsidy (Lehane 1996). Earlier taxation benefits for destocking necessary for disease eradication to minimise taxation and facilitate restocking and a taxation deduction for infrastructure necessary for disease eradication (Lehane 1996) had been established. Formal approved approved programs were introduced from 1984 to develop a long term program with interim milestones to achieve disease eradication. An approved program created eligibility for compensation and financial assistance. An annual review was done by the station owner and BTEC staff. The ability to do at least 2 TB tests a year was essential as well as clean musters. The testing and paddock checks and destocking techniques were

39 described in the presentation. Most TB infected buffalo properties were generally totally destocked due to both the high initial prevalence and lack of facilities to domesticate buffalo.

Brucellosis It is likely that brucellosis was spread from the Barkly Tablelands to a number of Alice Springs properties following restocking in the mid 1960s following a 10 year drought and to six commercial herds and to four properties establishing a stud to breed herd bulls in the Katherine and Darwin areas.

While the disease established and was maintained at a low prevalence on a small number of properties in the Katherine and Darwin areas, there was usually a localised distribution with little apparent spread within the property. Brucellosis was eradicated from the Katherine and Darwin properties during the 1970s and early 1980s without the use of vaccine by a test and slaughter program with the northern half of the Northern Territory declared a Provisionally Free Area in 1975.

In contrast in the Barkly Tablelands and Alice Springs areas vaccination was essential to reduce the disease prevalence with Strain 19 vaccination used from 1968 to 1971 and Strain 45/20 vaccine from 1972 to 1984. Vaccination and anamnestic testing was critical to achieve eradication.

In herds with infection with TB and brucellosis the strategy was to conduct testing for both diseases at the first weaner test. Cattle were blood sampled, injected with tuberculin and bang tailed. The brucellosis test results were received from the laboratory prior to the reading of the TB test 72 hours after the injection with tuberculin. Reactors to both diseases would be removed and as part of the anamnestic test for brucellosis, the negative animals receive the first dose of Strain 45/20 vaccine with an ear notch to identify vaccinates. A repeat TB test and brucellosis blood test, the second part of the anamnestic test, was done 8 to 12 weeks later, reactors to both diseases were removed at the read of the TB test and a second 45/20 vaccination was done and the heifers were identified with a second ear notch. Blood collection and testing will be described in more detail in the presentation. The sensitivity and specificity of the brucellosis CFT exceeded 99%, an exceptional diagnostic test.

Brucellosis surveillance of bulls and cows at NT and interstate abattoirs provided additional data to confirm property status and zone status. Blood

40 collection at abattoirs was conducted by abattoir staff, independent contractors or meat inspectors depending on the abattoir.

Integrated destocking of the Simpson Desert and adjoining stations by Qld, SA and NT departments from 1984 to 1986 enabled the Alice Springs and Barkly Tablelands to be declared Provisionally Free for brucellosis in 1986. National freedom for brucellosis was declared in 1989.

Tuberculosis Tuberculin testing was generally restricted to veterinarians. As it soon became apparent that there were insufficient government veterinarians to do the testing, private veterinarians were attracted to northern Australia for TB testing. Veterinary practices were established in Alice Springs and Katherine and locations in Queensland and the Kimberleys to conduct the testing. The private veterinarians often had flying licences enabling them to cover large distances more quickly than driving with some private vets testing 80,000 cattle annually. An advantage was that clinical veterinary practices were established in regional locations.

The detection of granulomas in feral pigs caused by Mycobacterium bovis was highly associated with the presence of TB in the feral buffalo. It was shown that feral pigs were an end-host with bovine TB not detected in feral pigs after the removal of infected buffalo and cattle.

In the late 1980s there were a number of groups of cattle under TB test with persistent infection despite repeated TB testing. There was a decision to send all cattle in these groups to slaughter at abattoirs from 1990 to 1992 with on farm market compensation thus achieving Impending free status in 1992.

There is a separate more detailed paper on the eradication of bovine tuberculosis. This paper also provides a listing of staff involved in the brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication program.

Production and Market Access Benefits from BTEC programs The eradication of brucellosis and TB was an extraordinary achievement by owners, managers, station staff, helicopter pilots, private veterinarians, laboratory staff and government vets and stock inspectors.

41 The BTEC program greatly accelerated development of infrastructure which enabled an increase in utilisation of the available pasture and improved in cattle husbandry such as weaning, cross breeding and supplementation. The removal of feral shorthorn bulls greatly accelerated the effectiveness of the introduction of Brahman bulls much more suited to the northern grazing systems even outside the cattle tick and buffalo fly endemic areas. The turnoff percentage was markedly increased by some improvements to fertility, much reduced mortality rate and much reduced age of turnoff. The availability of disease free Brahman cattle enabled the rapid growth in the live cattle export market to south east Asia from the early 1990s comprising about a half of the Territory cattle turnoff.

References L.G. Newton and R Norris (2000). Clearing a continent, the eradication of bovine pleuropneumonia from Australia. SCARM Report 74. CSIRO Publishing, 150 Oxford Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066 P. Lonsdale (2006). Colonel Lionel Rose, Chief Veterinary Officer of the Northern Territory 1946-1958. Central Queensland University Press R Lehane (1996). Beating the odds in a big country, the eradication of bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis in Australia. CSIRO Publishing, PO Box 1139, Collingwood,VIC,3066 W.T. Hare (1985). The early history of animal industry in the Northern Territory. Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory.