13 December, 2023
Vet’s outstanding contribution recognised
ONE of Atherton Tablelands' most well-known veterinarians has had his exceptional contribution to veterinary science, veterinary education and the cattle industries recognised.
Dr Bill Tranter’s extensive expertise and lifelong work as a cattle veterinarian has culminated in him being recently admitted as an Honorary Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) in the field of Dairy Cattle Medicine and Management.
It is very rare to see a qualified specialist, which Dr Tranter now is, in a general veterinary practice.
In the field of cattle medicine, there are fewer than 10 qualified specialists in the whole of Australia with most of them working full time in universities.
Dr Tranter BVSc PhD FANZCVS (Hon) is a mentor and valued friend to hundreds of veterinary professionals, farmers, clients and students who have been fortunate to work with him over 48 years at Tableland Veterinary Service.
He is especially well-known by the dairying fraternity and has been credited with having inspired veterinary students and graduates.
“I feel humbled to receive this recognition as anything I have achieved has been with the assistance of others, especially the wonderful veterinarians who have supported me in practice,” Dr Tranter said.
“The number now exceeds well over 100 - great veterinarians, many of whom started their careers in our practice.”
Dr Tranter has studied, worked and lectured at the University of California in America, Massey University in New Zealand and in Vietnam and Indonesia as well as here in Australia.
He was president of the Australian Cattle Veterinarians in 1981.
An influential figure in dairy cow medicine and management in Australia, he received the “Bovine Practitioner of the Year” award in 2014.
This is the highest honour that the Australian Cattle Veterinarians award to members.
He has been a contributing author for bovine medicine reference text books such as “Diseases of Cattle in Australasia”, also conducting observational and experimental studies which have been published in the areas of bovine lameness, mastitis, nutrition, heat stress, reproductive management and reproductive pathophysiology.
His work and resulting publications from his PhD thesis have been regarded as foundational research into lameness epidemiology, with one research paper being hailed as one of the most cited papers on dairy cow lameness in pasture-based systems.
He is renowned for having delivered numerous scientific presentations at national and international conferences.
Dr Tranter was instrumental in having developed and delivered the bovine medicine curriculum at James Cook University, Townsville as well as the final year cattle medicine rotation in Malanda. This rotation is regarded as one of the best cattle medicine rotations in Australia.
He has mentored over 30 new graduates, mixed animals/dairy cattle veterinarians and over 10 veterinarians undertaking the ANZCVS membership examination in the subject of Medicine of Dairy Cattle.
“I have worked most of my career in general veterinary practice but my focus has always been on cattle medicine and production,” Dr Tranter said.
“For the past 15 years, I have had a significant role in training future veterinarians both on campus in Townsville and at the Tableland practice in Malanda.
“Every graduating veterinarian from James Cook University has undertaken a significant proportion of their cattle training at Malanda.
“To witness young vets start out very tentatively, gain confidence day by day and grow professionally to achieve great things, has been one of my greatest joys.”
Having developed and delivered countless farmer courses over his career, Dr Tranter’s vast knowledge and expertise has spanned a wide range of areas which include artificial insemination, udder health management, reproductive management, animal welfare, transition management, calf health, downer cow management and lameness.
He has worked with the Australian Dairy Industry as a scientific consultant in animal health, reproductive management and lameness.
A herd health program for dairy cattle that he developed was one of the first in Australia to use computerised records.
The elite-level of Dr Tranter’s consultancy and clinical practice is evidenced by the longstanding success of his herd health program, which has been operating for over 40 years.
His passion for using technology to advance cattle practice led him to develop DairyWin with collaborators at Massey University, which was one of the first dairy herd management software programs available in Australia and New Zealand.
“Providing veterinary care for animals in a country setting has been hugely rewarding,” Dr Tranter said.
“My passion has been cattle health and production, both beef and dairy.
“The cattle producers I have worked with, and who I continue to work with, have taught me so much.”