2021 Annual General Meeting -President's report

2020-2021 President’s Report
Dr Sandra Baxendell

The last year has been very difficult for us all.  Kylie Greentree and I were involved with Science week in 2020 but of course this was called off.  We did not have the support to contribute to the 2021 Science week so maybe next year will see a Small Ruminant chapter section (volunteers are needed to help this happen).  The committee did most of our work via email and one Zoom meeting.  We did a submission from the chapter to the review of agvet chemical regulatory framework highlighting the difficulties of treating minor species such as goats and deer.

Exams for our chapter happen only every second year and we lobbied strongly to have exams in 2021 as we would normally have rather than have them pushed back a year to allow for the postponed 2020 exams.  The subject outlines for both sheep and goats were updated.  We had 12 sheep membership students enrolled.  Unfortunately none of the initial interest in doing goat medicine exams actually paid their fees to sit the exam.  Maybe they will do the goat exam in 2 years’ time.  Covid19 made things very difficult for the sheep students and we wish them well.  My thanks for the time of the examiners and our chief examiner, especially as we had to make sudden changes as 2 examiners had to pull out due to unforeseen circumstances. 

The President manages the Small Ruminant chapter webpages on the ANZCVS website.  This is up-to-date and has also hidden files for the committee use.  Any suggested improvements are welcomed.  See

Sales of these cards are the main source of income for the Small Ruminant Chapter and the President currently handle these sales.  Due to Covid-19, face to face courses were severely limited or ceased.  The president, via her business, ran a series of FAMACHA courses for meat, dairy and pet goat owners via Zoom in Sept 2020  (5 courses) and April 2021 (3 courses) and offered an exam (written and send in a video of using the card) and this resulted in a few sales.  She also held a free FAMACHA course via Zoom for vets in April 2021, which resulted in even more sales. One large practice bought cards for all their livestock vets after one of their vets did the Zoom course and then trained her practice colleagues.  We have an agreement with the copyright owners and must keep good records and do an annual report.  

Weclome New Members 2019

Three new members successfully completed their sheep exams.  Sara Sutherland from New Zealand, Timothy Gole and Thomas Clune (both from Australia).  We welcome our new members and hope to see many more in 2021.  Exams are held every 2nd year

FAMACHA Course at Tocal


Sandra Baxendell and Kylie Greentree (both Small Ruminant Chapter veterinarians)

A group of 16 Boer, Angora, dairy goat breeders as well as pet miniature goat owners took part in a course on worm control given by Sandra Baxendell. Some attendees also had sheep. This was organized by Kylie Greentree, District Veterinarian with the Hunter Local Land Services –in September 2017 i.e. before the peak barber’s pole season. The basics of worm control for sheep and goats were covered in the theory session with an emphasis on pasture management and genetic selection.  As barber’s pole worms are a major problem in the region, genetic selection and using targeted treatments based on FAMACHA© scores were highlighted. It is a requirement for selling FAMACHA© cards by the copyright holder (in South Africa) that they can only be sold to people who have done both a worm control course and hands on training.

After morning tea, the group was split into two and while one group watched an instructional video, the other half went to the sheep yards at Tocal College.  After demonstrations on how to use the FAMACHA cards to score the level of anaemia and how to condition score, the participants examined the ewes. Each participant had to demonstrate the 5 PointCheck® which included using the FAMACHA© score card. The groups then swapped over.  At the completion of the training all 16 participants obtained a certificate, which will allow them to buy replacement cards if the cards fade over time.

Welcome new members 2017, Kylie & Rich

Rich Sides BA, BPhty, BVSc, MANZCVS

I am a mixed-animal practitioner based in Wanaka, Central Otago, NZ – the Southern Lakes area of New Zealand.  My primary focus is servicing the sheep, beef and deer farmers of this area, catering for their primary production animals and their working dogs.  The sheep side of clinical practice is of particular interest to me, hence my membership of the ANZCVS in Sheep Medicine.  We have a fascinating mix of traditional high-country merino farming, as well as finishing-breeds grazing increasingly-irrigated river and lake flats.  Plenty of scope for variety around here, with a dynamic edge to farming practice!


Kylie Greentree, District Veterinarian, Local Land Services


 I am a District Veterinarian working for the Local Land Services based in Maitland, NSW. I have spent a few years in Bourke, within the Western Division, where I learnt the significance of the goat industry.  Not only the importance to producers in the Western Division, but to Australia as a whole, particularly in the area of exports/trade. The goat industry, within my working area, is diverse and challenging.  My work can range from examining dairy goats, Angora and Boers one day and then dealing with pet varieties the next. Over the last 6 years I have noticed an increase in the number of goats within the Hunter.  I have, and continue to, thoroughly enjoy learning as much as I can and meeting people within the industry.  When I first looked at sitting for my Membership in Medicine of Goats I was surprised there was not more vets with this level of qualification within this interesting field of expertise.  I believed this would be an excellent opportunity, to not only develop my skills and knowledge, but to also learn more about what appears to be a niche market. Over the past 12 months I have been working to build my network with regards to goat producers within the Hunter and I have also initiated a local monthly newsletter affectionately titled the "Browser's Bulletin".  This allows me to address any issues, problems or questions any of our producers may have with regards to goats.  I have also organised, and will continue to do so, workshops and information sessions for producers.  Now that I have passed my Membership Exams I would love to become more involved in the Goat Industry and improve my knowledge in all areas whilst also continuing to build my goat producer network across the country. The study has certainly been a challenge, in many ways, but it was definitely worthwhile!

FAMACHA Course held at James Cook Uni

A goat worm control hand-on workshop was arranged by the Townsville & District Goat Club and was held at the veterinary school at the James Cook University, Townsville (JCU) on 15th October, 2016.   A total of 36 attendees were enrolled, although two registrants from Papua New Guinea did not arrive unfortunately.  Veterinary students were also invited to sit in on the lecture in exchange for their help with the hands’-on component of the course.  Several took up this opportunity despite examinations being only a few weeks away.

The day started out with a lecture in a very modern lecture theatre with four TV screens as well as the central screen for the PowerPoint presentation.  Dr Sandra Baxendell gave an hour lecture about goats and worms concentrating on the goat’s environment, the goats and also worms in turn. Pasture management and feeder design was stressed as well as feeding goats well to allow them to cope better with worms.  Treatment of worms was then discussed as well as the growing problem of drench resistance and the increasing range of barber’s pole worms.  The use of FAMACHA© scoring to select goats for drenching rather than drenching the whole herd and to select for goats to keep in the herd was discussed.

After morning tea, participants then went to the JCU animal yards and shed facilities for their hand-on training. Half the group did FAMACHA© scoring and 5 point checks of the University’s meat goat herd. The other half, led by the fourth year vet students, learnt how to do faecal egg counts.  The first group were given their FAMACHA© cards and spilt into pairs. Dr Sandra Baxendell demonstrated how to use the FAMACHA© cards and to do the 5 point check© as recommended by Dr Greg Bath. These 5 points are:

·         The FAMACHA score of the eye mucous membranes

·         The body condition score

·         The sleekness of the coat

·         Evidence of scouring under the tail

·         Evidence of “bottle jaw” under the face and neck

The groups then swapped after every person had examined a goat and explained their decision as to whether to drench it or not.

During lunch there was a lot of time for questions and networking in very comfortable air-conditioned room with sofas as well as tables and chairs.  Brian & Jean Venten from the Ebuta Goat Dairy in Townsville had brought along samples of their goat milk gelatos of many different flavours.  The Ebuta Dairy is a registered goat dairy and has just expanded from raw milk to gelatos.  Certificates were then given and evaluation forms were collected. The evaluations were all very positive with ratings of well above 4 (out of maximum of 5).