The Mercury, Brian Ward, 8 Feb 2011
TASMANIA’S first community veterinary hospital was opened by Hobart philanthropist Jan Cameron yesterday, giving the public access to a range of more affordable veterinary services.
Ms Cameron has long been a strong advocate for animal welfare projects and spearheaded the development of the new Lenah Valley clinic in conjunction with the Animal Welfare League of Queensland and Getting to Zero (G2Z) Australia – a group dedicated to eradicating animal euthanasia.
“It’s pretty satisfying to see the opening of the facility, which will give greater access to animals in need of welfare,” Ms Cameron said.
“Hopefully, the hospital can serve as a model for other parts of Tasmania.” The clinic will put particular emphasis on desexing pets to reduce the number of abandoned animals in Tasmania and also focus on reducing animal euthanasia rates in the state, with great success already achieved at a similar facility on the Gold Coast.
“The facility in Queensland is a fantastic model – it won the best animal shelter last year,” Ms Cameron said.
“They employ best practice and put a great emphasis on animal welfare, which is the main reason I got involved.”
Much of the funding for the project came from Ms Cameron but she said the facility should be self-sufficient once it was fully operational and she would be investing more if necessary.
G2Z director Denise Bradley said it would go a long way to prevent animal euthanasia in Tasmania. Hospital manager and Tasmanian veterinarian Dr Tering Davies was in Queensland when she became involved in the development and returned to work at the clinic.
“A facility like this is long overdue for Tasmania,” Dr Davies said.
“It will go a long way to getting some of the state’s more serious animal welfare problems under control.”