GIPPSLAND Veterinary Group (GVG) hosted two veterinarians – Drs Ganzorig Bekochir and Choijoo Ochirsum from Mongolia VET Net – as part of a Dairy Residency Program, during July.
The objective of the program was to provide practical hands on experience with cattle and exposure to various aspects of the Australian dairy industry.
During the month, Ganzo and Choijoo visited about 100 farm calls with veterinarians from the Gippsland Veterinary Group – based at the Large Animal and Equine Clinic (LEC) at Leongatha.
Both Ganzo and Choijoo undertook a dairy practice skills workshop run by Dr Gerhard Labuschagne from the GVG.
This provided hands on training in obstetrical procedures, lameness examinations, down cow management and common surgical procedures.
As part of the residency program they visited the Ellinbank Dairy Research centre with Geoff Kirton – a local dairy consultant and the Loch knackery to undertake some post mortem examinations with Dr Will Hume from the Department of Environment and Economic Development.
Dr Steph Bullen from Saputo Dairies provided insights into contract arrangements with milk suppliers and explained the various regulatory and monitoring activities of the Saputo milk factory.
A presentation night was held in Wonthaggi where Choijoo gave an interesting presentation on the dairy industry in Mongolia – past and present.
Mongolia’s transition from being part of the Soviet Union to an independent nation in 1991 was abrupt and created significant hardships for all citizens including remote countryside herders and veterinarians.
Mongolia VET Net – a national non-government organisation – has been providing technical and business training to veterinarians throughout the country for more than 20 years to equip veterinarians to help the nations herders and countryside communities.
Ganzo and Choijoo have returned to Mongolia with new skills and confidence, to undertake clinical dairy cattle work and to assist herders and owners of larger dairies manage their animal health challenges.
As educators, Ganzo said they will be able to pass on their skills to veterinarians throughout Mongolia, through VET Net’s continuing education program.
“As a VET Net veterinarian or trainer, I have been teaching things for Mongolian vets even though I have never seen or treated some conditions.
“But now I am very confident to teach it and do it because I have seen many cases and have had hands on training.”
Program organiser Dr David Beischer thanked the many people that contributed to making the residency program a success, including Norbrook (Australia).
“The program required a team effort at many levels beginning with assistance with visiting visas and particularly help from GVG veterinarians, ferrying the two fellows around the countryside.”
Certificates of achievement were presented to Ganzo and Choijoo, in addition to some veterinary equipment to take back to Mongolia.
During their visit, Ganzo explained a recent initiative of VET Net to help poor people in remote countryside areas – the Gift of Love Project – to church fellowships in Wonthaggi, Inverloch and Leongatha.
The project coordinates the delivery of sheep for food to poor families before winter, using a network of local churches, social workers, herders and veterinarians.
Following a $60 donation to VET Net, a sheep is supplied from a herder via a local veterinarian to chosen recipients.
Sufficient funds were raised during the month for about 90 sheep to be distributed this autumn through the program.
During their visit Ganzo and Choijoo experienced some of the major attractions of the region and Melbourne including a football game at the MCG and a visit to Healesville sanctuary.
“The koalas – eating and sleeping is like me when I am home during the weekend!” Choijoo said.
Mongolian vets on study tour