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Veterinary scene Down Under: The latest for VetChip, plus new wildlife rescue app and more
Animal biotech startup VetChip’s recent success; AVBC releases new Day One Competency guidelines for veterinary graduates; and wildlife rescue mobile app empowering community to save injured wildlife
Support for disruptive pet tech start-ups
Australian animal biotechnology company VetChip is one of the winners of the 2023 Unleashed by Purina Pet Tech accelerator initiative. This also marks the first time an Australian company has participated in the event previously only available to European start-ups. VetChip has developed an innovative implantable smart microchip for animals that can monitor temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and tissue oxygenation.
The Unleashed accelerator program is designed to be at the cutting edge of the next generation in pet services, novel nutrition, and health technologies to strengthen the bond and lives of pets and their owners.1 VetChip co-founder and veterinarian Garnett Hall, BVSc (Hons), traveled to Europe for the event.
“I spent 5 days in Switzerland for the Unleashed 2023 kick-off and ‘Winners Day.’ VetChip will now participate in a 20-week program where we work on an Unleashed project of mutual benefit to both entities—us and Purina. I was also in Austria for a few days for the Unleashed Pet Tech Meetup, held at the Tractive campus. This event was attended by about 120 founders and others with interests in pet technology and about 20 of us were invited to pitch. We were awarded one of the runner-up prizes of €3,000 for this event,” shared Hall with dvm360®.
“It was inspiring to meet people just as passionate about pet tech as I am. The caliber of start-ups, organizers, and judges was incredible. Our pitches were judged by LCatterton, a venture capital fund created by global luxury goods giant LVMH, and global investment bank Houlihan Lokey, so receiving an award felt pretty special.”
VetChip has application in companion animal practice, for primary producers enabling better herd health management, and for equestrian sports and horse racing. Hall is excited by the opportunity which lies ahead.
“Emerging pet technology is going to change the future of animal health and I really hope that our technology will enable a huge leap forward in animal healthcare. I am looking forward to working with new friends, colleagues, and collaborators from across the world as we refine our technology and potentially link it with pet tech ecosystems and apps,” said Hall.
New Day One Competencies for veterinary graduates
The Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) has released new Day One Competencies for veterinary graduates, to replace the current AVBC Attributes of Veterinary Graduates and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Day One Competencies. The new Day One Competencies will come into effect on January 1, 2024, and will serve as a benchmark for veterinary schools and programs in Australia and New Zealand, according to a statement from the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA).2
The competencies will help ensure veterinary graduates in Australia and New Zealand have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities for their professional careers and continued career development post-graduation. The new competencies were developed by a task group appointed by AVBC with input from stakeholders and are aligned with international veterinary accreditation standards.
Wildlife rescue app connects people with nearest wildlife rescue group
The Australian arm of global not-for-profit International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has partnered with the New South Wales Wildlife Council to release the IFAW Wildlife Rescue App to enable mobile phone users to report injured Australian wildlife to the nearest wildlife rescue group.
The app aims to reduce stress by giving users all the information they need at their fingertips, empowering them to help save injured wildlife. It also allows the user to report deceased animals, so wildlife rehabilitators can accurately monitor the cause of local deaths and identify danger zones and roadkill ‘hot-spots.’
“Australian wildlife is suffering having been dealt several devastating blows in the past few years, from catastrophic drought to bushfires and floods in parts of the country. We know millions of animals are killed or injured on roads every year, but we simply can’t afford for our native wildlife to be impacted any further,” said IFAW animal rescue officer Robert Leach.
“Anything we can do to help is vital. The IFAW app empowers everyday people to be a part of the solution by helping get injured animals the immediate treatment they need for the best chances of survival.”
The app is currently available in the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, and Tasmania. It can be downloaded here.
- Partnering with disruptive pet tech & pet care startups. Purina. Accessed April 3, 2023. https://www.unleashedbypurina.com
- Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) releases new Day One Competencies for veterinary graduates in Australia and New Zealand. Australian Veterinary Association. March 21, 2023. Accessed April 3, 2023. https://www.ava.com.au/news/avbc-releases-new-day-one-competencies-for-veterinary-graduates-in-australia-and-new-zealand