Congratulations New Members!

Congratulations to our new Veterinary Behaviour Chapter Members! 

We have 14 new members to the Chapter and are thrilled for them to be joining in advancing the Science of Veterinary behaviour Medicine.

Congratulations to Pooja Bahal who has won the Robert Holmes Award for the best results for both written and oral exams. Very well done Pooja!

Behaviour Chapter Awards

The Rising Star Award

The “Rising Star” award is presented to a successful member or recent member from the previous year's examination, that presents at Science Week Conference for the first time.

1. The speaker must have achieved membership in the Veterinary Behaviour chapter of the
Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) in the previous 2 years.
2. This must be speaker’s first presentation at Science Week
3. The presentation will be assessed by a minimum of 2 judges as appointed by the executive of the Chapter
4. The judges should include one Specialist in Behavioural Medicine as part of the judging panel
5. If there is an International Speaker they should be one of the judges but they must be informed of their duties at least 6 weeks in advance
6. The presentation will be assessed on the following criteria:
      a. Presentation style
      b. Visual aids used
      c. Ability to engage the audience
      d. Information that advances the field of veterinary behaviour
Case studies, pilot studies will be accepted if supportive data are provided.
Opinion pieces will not be accepted
7. The prize may not be given every year if the criteria are not met

The Robert Holmes Award

Robert Holmes Award is presented at the discretion of the examiners to the best performing candidate for Membership Examinations of that year.

Criteria is as follows: 
- Best overall performance - highest scoring candidate across both oral and written exams
The aim is to award an outstanding candidate.
- $500 Bursary  

Caroline Perrin Memorial Award:

The Caroline Perrin Award is a memorial award granted to a successful applicant that is currently completing a residency in Veterinary Behaviour.

- Applicants must be Residents in Veterinary Behaviour as part of their training to undertake a
Fellowship in Veterinary Behaviour from the ANZCVS.
- Applicants must submit a formal written application for the Grant to the Chapter (maximum word count 1000 words).
- Applicants are only eligible to be allocated the Grant once during their Residency.
- The successful applicant is requested to present at Science Week the following year it is held.
- The Grant will be administered in its entirety by the Veterinary Behaviour Chapter.

Award Criteria:
Applicants must demonstrate the following attributes:
 Involvement in the veterinary behaviour community
 Committee memberships (AVBIG and/or ANZCVS)
 Enhancement of veterinary behaviour profession
 Contribution to the veterinary community
 Presentations at conferences
 Journal clubs
 Papers/articles
 Contribution to the broader community
 Community engagement & participation
 Education

In the case of multiple eligible applicants, the grant is to be allocated at the discretion of Mr Rod
Hopkins and the Executive officers of the Veterinary Behaviour Chapter.

The value of the grant is $1000, payable as a one-off payment.
The Grant will be awarded at Science Week & presented by Mr Rod Hopkins along with a
representative member of the Veterinary Behaviour Chapter at Science Week. 

For more information, please contact the Chapter Executive.

Mentor List available

For anyone wishing to sit Membership examination in Veterinary Behaviour in 2023, a list of mentors have been developed. 

Please go to the administration page to view our current mentor list and their contact email.

Member Webinar 8 April 2021 at 8pm

Dr Dennis Wormald BVSc(hons), PhD, BBSc, BSc(hons) will present:

Animal behaviour research - is it really that bad? 

Critical evaluation of scientific literature is an important skill, especially in the field of animal behaviour. In this presentation, I discuss some thoughtful ways to evaluate research articles, with lots of interesting examples. Drawing on my own experience publishing in this field, I will discuss the difficulties that can be encountered when trying to perform the perfect study.

Member Webinar 25th February 2021

Our next chapter webinar will be on 25th February 2021 at 8pm Melbourne/Sydney time.
Dr Richard Seymour will  be presenting about “Expanding the Psychopharmacology Toolbox; the when, why, and how of some not-so-common behaviour medications”. Richard is a Member of our Chapter and also a Resident with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists under the mentorship of Dr Chris Pachel, DACVB. We look forward to seeing you there.

Fear Free Grant Recipient

Dr Sally Nixon BVSc MANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour) is based in rural Victoria and works solely in veterinary behavioural medicine, seeing cases referred by local veterinary clinics or self-referred. 

Sally graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2000 with a BVSc and worked in general mixed practice in Australia and abroad for many years. She gained membership to the veterinary behaviour chapter in 2013. She is one of the consultants to the behaviour folder for the Veterinary Information Network, assists with the forum and workshop for the CVE behavioural medicine course and is the policy advisory councillor for Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest Group. Sally is the current president elect of the Veterinary Behaviour chapter and is aiming to do her fellowship training in veterinary behavioural medicine.

A study on the use of Zylkene to reduce fear during veterinary visits

Zylkene is has been available in Australia over the past 18 months. Anecdotal reports suggest that this nutraceutical helps many Australian pets who suffer from fear and anxiety. With the help of the Fear Free organisation, a study is being performed to find objective information on the benefits of Zylkene in the context of a veterinary visit.


This study is being done in conjunction with Albury-Wodonga veterinary clinic (Family Vet Centre Wodonga).  Dr Nixon is also receiving research support from Dr Dennis Wormald at Melbourne University.

We all look forward to seeing preliminary results presented at Science Week 2019.

Fear Free Grant 2018-2019

Veterinary Behaviour Chapter of Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists

Announcing Fear Free Research Grant 2018-2019

Our appreciation to Fear Free Pets for this opportunity to advance research in Australia and New Zealand.

The initial goal for fear free funding of research is to a) encourage and support evidence based research that would increase our understanding and knowledge related to preventing and alleviating fear, anxiety and stress associated with veterinary visits and b) to support research in the field of veterinary behaviour.  Therefore, in this first year of their research portfolio, they are providing funds for research by behaviorists or residents of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, as well as to the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine, to the Veterinary Behaviour Chapter of the ANZCVS, and to selected US veterinary teaching institutions for student research in the field. 

Fear free is offering a grant of $1000 US to the ANZCVS Veterinary Behaviour Chapter to be awarded to a member of the Chapter for original evidence based research project in dogs and/or cats investigating the prevention, reduction or measurement of fear, anxiety and stress associated with veterinary visits including travel, facilities, procedures, hospitalization or return home.  Studies conducted in shelters can be considered if the findings can be applied to veterinary visits and hospitalization.   


Applicants should be a current Member or Fellow of the ANZCVS Veterinary Behaviour Chapter. Individuals who have announced their intention to sit their Memberships in 2019 will also be considered.

Applications must be presented with an up to date CV, Cover letter and 500 -1000 word outline of their proposed research topic. Applications should be emailed to

Applications should be received by the end of day October 31st 2018

Successful applicants will be required to present their initial findings at Science week 2019. Fear free will announce the funding on their research page, as well as the title, name of the research and objective of the research when the project has been selected.  On completion, the only requirement will be that a copy of the abstract with results will be submitted to fear free, to be added to their research portfolio on their website so that findings can be reported and shared.  If the project will not be published, fear free would be interested in putting a link to, or a copy of the paper on their website.