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New vet in district

Tuesday, 30th January, 2018

The new District Veterinarian, Dr Felicity Wills pictured with a cow whilst completing an internship in Canada. PICTURE: Christina Weese The new District Veterinarian, Dr Felicity Wills pictured with a cow whilst completing an internship in Canada. PICTURE: Christina Weese

By Emily Ferguson

Dr Felicity Wills has been employed by the Western Local Land Services as a District Veterinarian for Broken Hill. 

Dr Wills’ position sees her covering the area of Broken Hill, Wilcannia, White Cliffs and Tibooburra.

The Western Local Land Services work with land managers and the community to improve primary production, better manage natural resources and ensure sustainable regional communities.

Felicity Wills completed her Bachelor of Veterinary Science at Charles Sturt University in 2011.

She then went to work at the Ballarat Veterinary Practice as a large animal ambulatory vet for three years.

Dr Wills then moved to Saskatoon Canada to the University of Saskatchewan, where she completed an internship in Large Animal Internal Medicine.

This followed with a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology, which focused on developing a disease surveillance program for beef cow-calf herd in the western Canadian Prairie Provinces. 

Felicity has a great interest in internal medicine and the herd management of large animals.

Felicity grew up on a cattle farm near Orange in New South Wales and would see the way the animals were treated and always had an interest in how they were treated and taken care of.

“So I think right from the start, I had a passion for working with animals,” Felicity said.

Working in Broken Hill differs to Dr Wills’ work in Ballarat and Canada as it is a “different approach”, she said.

“Focuses more on herds or groups of animals rather than one specific sick animal.”

The biggest challenge Dr Wills is facing at the moment is “always dealing with remoteness and distance to do work, it’s never a short 30 minute drive down the road,” she said.

“Jobs can involve a few days in the car for me ... it’s a big commitment,” she said.

Other challenging factors include the heat and lack of rain.

Broken Hill is a “complete change and contrast” for Dr Felicity Wills.

She said “the way of managing livestock is completely different - the people out here do amazing things with limited resources.”

Dr Felicity Wills wants the Broken Hill community to know that they are always able to contact her or the Western Local Land Services in regards to any questions or issues with livestock health or management. 

“I’m looking forward to continuing to strengthen the great agricultural base that we already have out here,” she said.

“I’ve really enjoyed my first few months in Broken Hill.”

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