JAMES MCCONNELLUndertake a course in Veterinary Disease Control - UK
At the time of my Fellowship I was the Veterinary Specialist Officer Disease Control) Department of Agriculture Launceston
In applying for the Fellowship I pointed out that there had never been any formal training in the management and control of diseases of livestock on a state-wide or nation-wide basis, hence my application for a Fellowship to study at the Royal Veterinary College (London) for a Post-Graduate Diploma in Animal Health.
This was the field in which I had spent my professional life, first in the Northern Territory and latterly in Tasmania. The curriculum for the Diploma of Animal Health offered some such training. I was fortunate to receive a Fellowship of eleven months duration.
The first ten months of this (October 1967 – July 1968) was occupied in studying for and achieving the Diploma of Animal Health.
In the final month (September 1968) I visited Government Animal Disease Control authorities in Copenhagen, The Hague, Paris, Vienna and Rome.
I was also able to visit research centres in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and several Government veterinary establishments in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The latter arose from professional contacts made during the Diploma course.
FELLOWSHIP CONCLUSIONS & OUTCOMES
The principle benefit I obtained from the Diploma course was the formal study of animal epidemiology, and particularly the use of statistical methods in its practical application. A major secondary benefit was the result of repeated and intensive discussions with fellow students, who were all veterinary graduates engaged in work similar to my own. The discussions with Disease Control authorities and professionals in seven European countries, and the comparison of methods, was of the greatest value.
I remained in my position at Department of Agriculture Launceston until my retirement in September 1983. During that time I was in charge of the programs for the eradication from Tasmania of Tuberculosis and Brucellosis of cattle. These diseases were declared eradicated in 1974 and 1975 respectively – events which pre-dated similar eradication from the remaining Australian states by a number of years.
I was also in charge of the Government aspects of the program to eradicate Hydatid Disease in humans.
In 1971 I was invited to become a foundation member of the Australian College of Veterinary Science, which was inaugurated in that year. Since my retirement I was active in the Landcare movement from 1988 to 1998.