The Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Pretoria is situated on the Onderstepoort campus of the University some 20 km north west of the Hatfield main campus and some 15 km due north of the city centre of Pretoria (Tshwane). It aims to be an internationally accredited seat of veterinary excellence, strives to be globally competitive, regionally pre-eminent and locally relevant whilst providing an effective veterinary interface to Africa. The Faculty has a proud tradition in veterinary and para-veterinary education, research and service-rendering which dates back to the early 1920s. Read more...
Although wild animals have been captured and chemically immobilised for years (by using a form of anaesthesia induced by drugs in a dart), very little is known about the short- and long-term consequences of capture and the effects of immobilising drugs on wild animals. Dr Leith Meyer, Veterinary Sciences Pharmacology researcher at the University of Pretoria, is committed to finding solutions to improve the well-being of wild animals. The results of his research will help wildlife veterinarians and other conservation practitioners to ensure that the best methods of capture are practised and optimal immobilising drug cocktails and treatments are used.
Prof Darryn Knobel is providing great insight into the control and foreseeable elimination of rabies. He recently presented his work at the 39th World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Congress held in Cape Town. Prof Knobel leads UPís Faculty of Veterinary Scienceís research group on dog population ecology and rabies epidemiology, which studies the ecology of owned, free-roaming dog populations in resource-constrained communities, particularly at wildlife interfaces. The group's aim is to better understand the interactions between dog population dynamics and rabies control, as well as other aspects of dog health and welfare.
Improved pregnancy rates among cattle mean greater profitability for dairy and beef farmers. IDEXX, an international company dealing with diagnostic products in animal health, recently approached the University of Pretoria with a request to conduct a project to assist in devising reliable, cost-effective methods for diagnosing pregnancy in cattle. This led to the bovine pregnancy test validation trial, which is being conducted in the South African dairy industry.
Cricket icon Mark Boucher is not only a champion sportsman, but also someone who is committed to playing his part to protect rhinos from extinction. After retiring from cricket, he partnered with Castle Lager to set up the Castle Lager Boucher Legacy Ė Rhino in Safe Hands. Boucher chose to specifically support UPís Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) and aims to raise enough money to register all South Africaís rhinos onto the DNA database of the VGL, known as RhODIS.
In 2009, Dr Cindy Harper, Director of the University of Pretoria (UP) Veterinary Facultyís Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL), established a method to obtain a DNA profile from a rhino horn. Poaching of rhinoceros for their highly valued horn was only beginning to show signs of increasing at the beginning of 2009. As poaching of rhinoceros rapidly escalated during the next few years, Harper, together with investigators from the Kruger National Park and the South African Police Forensic Science Laboratory in Pretoria, considered how the discovery could assist with the protection of rhino in this international war.