Vet labs – open and shut cases

The first ‘country’ (regional) veterinary laboratory in Australia – discounting the lab at the (‘largish’) city of Townsville in Far North Queensland – was opened in Armidale NSW in the mid 1960s, under the leadership of Dr Alan RB Jackson. This augmented the services of the NSW Department of Agriculture’s central laboratory located at Glenfield, Sydney (since moved to the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Menangle).

The Regional Veterinary Laboratory (RVL) (aka ‘Colin Blumer Regional Veterinary Laboratory’) at Armidale was later joined by RVLs at Wollongbar (north coast of NSW) and Wagga Wagga (south west NSW), and then finally at Orange (under the leadership of Dr Ray Webb), in the central west of the state.

Mirroring developments in the other states and countries, the labs underwent a series of closures, with Armidale and Wagga labs closing in 1996. (The author worked at the Armidale lab from 1986-1996). Private laboratory  Veterinary Health Research (Dr Bruce Chick et al) now occupies the site of the former RVL Armidale.

Most recent closures of vet labs belonging to NSW Department of Primary Industry (formerly Dept of Agriculutre, now Industry and Investment NSW), were the RVLs at Orange and Wollongbar. All I&I NSW veterinary laboratory services are now provided from RVL Menangle located at EMAI.

However, in an interesting development, Charles Sturt University is opening  a new lab at Wagga Wagga, rising, more or less, from the ‘ashes’ of the former RVL Wagga.  (The ‘Phoenix’ lab? 🙂 ). One of the pathologists at the ‘VDL-CSU’ is A/Prof John Glastonbury, a former OIC of  RVL Wagga Wagga.

Life is interesting.

Here is CSU’s blurb on the upcoming lab:

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL-CSU)

“Welcome to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) at the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University.  The laboratory is presently under construction in Nathan Cobb Drive on the Wagga Wagga Campus of the university and is expected to be fully operational by October 2009.

The VDL will be a highly secure state of the art facility built around the post mortem room, which will cater for all animals, ranging from small birds, wildlife and pets through to farm livestock and horses.  Ancillary laboratories will perform a full range of testing in histopathology, parasitology, microbiology, molecular biology, haematology, biochemistry and cytology.

It is our hope that the VDL will provide a comprehensive diagnostic service to veterinarians from southern New South Wales and north eastern Victoria.  The only specimens that will be received directly from animal owners will be those for parasitology, particulary from farm livestock.

The VDL will usually be open from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.  Emergency services will be available as needed.  Enquiries can be made by telephoning (02) 693 34000 or by emailing “

-SL   20090826


Managing new anthelmintics – Prof Sangster at WAAVP

Prof. Nick Sangster of Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga NSW AU)  presented a talk on Managing Novel Anthelmintics at the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology conference at Calgary earlier this month.

For a PDF of his slide presentation, see under ‘What’s New’ at

(Hopefully these links will remain alive for some time. We live in a broken world: this extends to URLs).

For the low down on Nick (complete with pic 🙂 ), go to

For related articles, see

* Besier RB. ‘Monepantel: are we ready for a new sheep anthelmintic?’ Skirting the Issues,  Australian Sheep Veterinarians’ Newsletter, Autumn 09, pp 9 -11. Ed.: JW Plant.  (Unfortunately this article is only readily accessible to members of the Australian Sheep Veterinary Society.

* Love S. ‘New drench on the block’. Vet Talk column, The Land Newspaper, Rural Press, Richmond NSW AU, April 16, 2009;  page 72. Reproduced in this weblog.

By the way, have you taken the WormBoss Survey yet?   Please do.   Help us to make it better.

Go to the Wormboss frontpage, or directly to the survey.

A new Vet Diagnostic Lab in NSW?? – see next post.


Make WormBoss better – take the survey

(Originally sent to WormMail mailing list (recip. undisclosed))

Further to an earlier WormMail, please help us to make WormBoss better by taking the survey.

‘Our apologies to those who went to do the survey when the link was temporarily hard to find – because of the WormBoss site relocation. (“Life wasn’t meant to be easy”. Fraser M, pers comm). ” still works, but you will be automatically redirected to (or similar)

Here is the blurb on the WormBoss Survey


Current Wormboss News

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In order to assess information and services provided by WormBoss we need your help in answering a few simple questions. A state-of-the-art laptop computer will be supplied to one lucky participant as part of this evaluation!
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Worms cost Australian sheep producers more than any other disease. Drench resistant worms are increasingly prevalent and becoming harder to manage.  For most sheep producers, sustainable management and control of sheep worms is essential for their future prosperity.
WormBoss was developed by the Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centre (Sheep CRC) and Australian Wool Innovation AWI to help producers meet these challenges.
WormBoss represents the national knowledge on sheep worms and their management. It has been assembled by leading parasitologists, researchers, extension officers, consultants, drench manufacturers and drench resellers.
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As you use WormBoss, you will see how you can use these practices to reduce costs, improve sheep health and productivity and increase profitability.
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Useful links

Last updated 20090821

See links to useful sites in the sidebar (to the right), and below:



Primary Industries | Industry and Investment NSW

Cattle – worm control

Livestock – general

Livestock – health

Sheep health – incl. internal and external parasites

Vet Lab & Vet Lab Manual



Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centre

ANZDSPs – incl nematodes of ruminants


Please let me know if any links are broken or need updating.


SL.  20090821

Nematodes – newly published Standard Diagnostic Procedures (ANZSDP)

(Originally to  WormMail (recip. list undisclosed) (wormmail 200908141030)

Nematodes – newly published Standard Diagnostic Procedures (Dr Gareth Hutchinson)

Newly published doc by Dr Gareth Hutchinson, formerly of NSW Dept Primary Industries

Go to

This continues a lot of useful information, even if you are not a diagnostician/parasitologist.

(This replaces the document published a number of years ago by Maxine Lyndal-Murphy /Chris Baldock of Queensland DPI).

Regards Steve

Drench lists; info on lice detection test

(Originally by email WormMail mailing list (recip. undisclosed). Attachments with the email not included with this post)

Drench lists

The July issue of InfoPest just came out.

From this I have created lists (MS Excel) of drenches for sheep, goats and cattle. Hopefully they are accurate.  I tried.

Also check out ‘PUBCRIS’ at the APVMA website.

Don’t assume any of these drenches work on your property. Test them: at the very least do a DrenchCheck (a WormTest 10 days after using the drench, plus an extra test later in the case of long-acting products). ‘The most expensive drench is the one that doesn’t work’

Also, consider combinations.

Cattle worm resistance not an issue?   Think again.


Thanks for the feedback on broken links in some of my recent emails   eg URLs for Turning the Worm etc on our website.   Links break in a changing world.   (hyperlinks, social fragmentation, final drives on inferior motorbikes with chains etc…   🙂

Lice Test Info

Narelle Sales has put this together. It may be of interest.

Gemma Junk is the NSW Ectoparasite Coordinator (and Sheep and Wool Officer at Bourke NSW).


Stephen Love

Veterinarian/State Coordinator-Internal Parasites, Armidale    (< <  how do you like my new, super-minimalist signature block ?  🙂

‘Inspired by Prof. Jim Scott’s news of the new UNE branding, as well as existing  email taglines etc….

We need some taglines…. (for the various types of people in Industry and Investment (formerly DPI)

Here is UNE’s:  “The UNE experience stays with your forever”    (I am not sure whether that is a good or bad thing).

TAFE NSW:  ‘Changing lives through learning’

Some possibilities??

Weeds people:  “Spread the word instead of weeds”   ?  ‘Weeds suck”  ?  ‘Wack weeds’?

Mine safety??    ‘Going for broke – not”     ” Aiming  for zero-zero’    ‘Aiming for zero maimed and dead’  ??  ‘Dig mine safety!’  ? ‘Safety: the responsibility is mine and your’s’

Sheep meats??  ‘Meating your needs’  ??   ‘Meatheads’ ?  ‘Steak your life on chops’ ?

Sheepos?  ‘Pulling the wool over your eyes’  ‘Fleecing you’ ? ‘ Have dags,will rattle’  ?   Musical sheep with dags: ‘Rattle and Hum’   (apologies to U2)   ‘Growing ground lice’ ?

Internal parasites…  ‘Turning the Worm’  (the name of one of my newsletters)   ‘Worms have the inside running’?   ‘Worms on the Web’  (already in use by me as well)  ‘WormBoss’ -name of national web-based info/dss project…   ‘WormKill’ – cool name dreamt up by Dr Keith Dash in the shower, 1984 (He told me: I wasn’t there).  ‘WormWise’ – a name dreamt up by the Western Australians but pinched by the Kiwis   🙂   ‘WormBuster’ – uncool name dreamt up by Queenslanders…  🙂

Vets..  ‘Pets need vets’ (serious one; in use of course)   ‘Animal docs rock’ ?  “You can bet on a vet’ ?   ‘Vets are best’ ?  🙂   😉

Internal parasites of seabirds??   ‘Worming the Tern’ ?

Ectoparasites?  ‘Itchy and Scratchy’  ?  ‘What’s the rub?”

Geology  “We rock!”  ?   ‘Rocks rock!”

Agronomes?  ‘ Down and dirty’   ‘We’ve got the dirt on you’?  ‘Sodkickers don’t suck’?  ‘ Keep Australia beautiful: plant an agronomist today’  ?

Fisheries people?   ‘Scaling new heights’ ?  ‘Gills are gold” ?  ‘Power to the piscines!’  ‘Piscines perform!’ ?

Beefos?   …hmmm…   (Variations on ‘bull’, horny’, cowabunga!’ etc I guess…)

Managing effluent:  ‘Cut the crap”

Global warming…   ‘Eat less beans’

Managing methane   “Jumping Jack Flash, its a gas, gas gas!’

Help us improve Wormboss – take the survey

(Sent to WormMail mailing list  (recip. undisclosed)     WormMail 20090810.1445)

Help us improve Wormboss
Please take the WormBoss Survey. Go to
We value your opinion to help us work toward providing a world-class worm management service for you in the future.


Stephen Love – on behalf of the rest of the WormBoss team

Stephen Love
Veterinarian/State Coordinator-Internal Parasites
NSW DPI, Building C2 (Earth Sciences),
Ring Rd North [PO Box U86], University of New England, ARMIDALE NSW 2351
t. 02 6738 8519 [direct] f. 02 6772 8664
Worms on the Web:
Turning the Worm:
WormBoss site: