History of Animal Health

Tuesday, 18 July, 2000

A record of the role of animal health researchers in building Australia's livestock industry has been launched. Titled 'Of Vets, Viruses and Vaccines', the book traces the history and development of the Animal Health Research Laboratory (AHRL), Parkville.

From 1930 to 1996, the AHRL played a central role in controlling problems such as black disease and cheesy gland in sheep, and pleuropneumonia and tuberculosis in cattle. For example, in the 1920s, Australia could not export beef to Britain due to the presence of worm nodules. Lamb and mutton exports were also curtailed when cheesy gland infestation was found in exported meat. Research programs at AHRL have helped control or eradicate these diseases, contributing to a thriving livestock industry.

The book begins with an historical account of the development of the laboratory and continues with detailed accounts by former AHRL researchers of some of the most important programs undertaken at the laboratory. It traces how technology has advanced, and how the science of researching animal health has changed.

While AHRL is no longer exists, the foundation of quality research continues at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), Geelong. The AAHL, now a part of CSIRO Livestock Industries, focuses on all aspects of livestock research.

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