Veterinarian Nilhan Fernando commenced an Internship, facilitated by the Poultry CRC, with Scolexia in March 2011 under the guidance of Dr Peter Scott, Managing Director of Scolexia. Previously Nilhan has worked as a consultant veterinarian to a Poultry Breeder Farm in Sri Lanka, and he is also experienced in equine and small animal medicine.
Previously Dr Scott has stated the importance of this program for the Australian Poultry Industry and Scolexia. “It is important to maintain an experienced base of professionals in the Australian Poultry Industry” said Dr Scott. “With the decline of regional veterinary laboratories and other government based agricultural establishments it is necessary for organisations like the Poultry CRC to now take on the important role of facilitating the development and training of people within and entering the poultry industry”. Scolexia plans to mentor more veterinarians into the Australian Poultry Industry via this mechanism.
Dr Fernando has provided an update on his internship with Scolexia, and the benefits of this program as he has experienced firsthand. “It has been a very informative six months with Scolexia; Dr Peter Scott has mentored me in many aspects of avian medicine”, said Nilhan. “I have appreciated the opportunity to learn a holistic approach to poultry disease investigation, which has broadened my knowledge in all aspects of poultry health, husbandry, welfare and nutrition”.
By working with other veterinarians, technical support staff and associates of Scolexia, Nilhan has gained experience and knowledge of the structure and dynamics of the Australian poultry industry. “Involvement in research and field trial activities has further enhanced my exposure to a different level of knowledge which I may not have experienced with another employer” said Nilhan. “Field visits and flock performance investigations on different poultry enterprises with a variety of avian species have given me wide range of exposure and knowledge; in some cases this has been quite challenging”.
Nilhan has valued the experience and encourages others to take advantage of this type of industry placement program. He concludes, “The past six months with Scolexia has provided me with an enormous amount of experience and exposure in different areas of the poultry sector, and I am looking forward to an exciting future as a poultry veterinarian”.