In this episode I was joined by the 2019 VNCA Vet Nurse of the Year, Kate. She's a senior nurse at the Perth Zoo, nominated by her entire team for her work ethic and dedication to our profession. Kate has been a vet nurse for 20 years, working in zoos for 18.
We recorded this episode at the beginning of March, just before COVID-19 turned the world on its head. Ever the conservationist, Kate wanted to talk about the pangolin and her vet nurse friend Cathy's work raising awareness for this amazing creature. Apart from my mental image of a scaled mammal at the time I knew nothing of the pangolin, the most trafficked animal in the world. A month later I had most certainly heard of the pangolin as a suspected intermediate host linking SARS-CoV-2 from horseshoe bats to humans.
Since the pandemic I've thought a lot about live animal markets. It's important to note they can be legal, illegal, regulated, unregulated, and are an important source of affordable food and livelihood for many. But they are linked to the mutation of viral pathogens, which are more likely to make these jumps between species when animals are kept under duress. Pangolins are traded at live animal markets in some countries as a luxury meat and their scales used in traditional medicine. If - and let me stress, if - this is how SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted to one person at a seafood market in Wuhan China, then the whole world is paying an enormous price for this trade. We'll never know for sure if this is what happened, but is undoubtedly time to start listening to the voices of the conservationists. Like Kate.
• The Vet Tome tooth extraction system.
• Dr Sophia Yin counter-conditioning nail trim phobia
• VNCA Vet Nurse of the Year
• Kate's qualifications:
o Accredited Veterinary Nurse (AVN)
o Certificate III in Captive Animals (zoo keeping qualification)
o Captive Vertebrate Management (CSU)
o Specialist certificate in zoo and wildlife nursing (currently completing)
• Cathy's Pangolin work
o Save Vietnam's wildlife
o Cathy's website
o Here's a link to an article Cathy has just written
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