Image for A deplorable response

I just heard Dr Chrissie Pickin ( who has been Tasmania’s Acting Director of Public Health) responding on ABC local radio to calls from the Toxic Heavy Metal Taskforce for animals (including pets) in Rosebery to be tested for heavy metal poisoning.

The ABC report refers to consultations between DHHS public health officers with at least one veterinarian on the Tasmanian Veterinary Surgeons Board and with the Government operated Mt Pleasant Laboratories (DPIWE).

The report said that Dr Pickin had claimed the advice she received from the member of the Veterinary Board was that it was unlikely that animals were suffering from heavy metal poisoning and that animals were more likely to be affected by metal deficiencies. [Please correct me if that interpretation of your utterance on ABC radio is incorrect, Dr Pickin.]

If correct, such dismissive comments from a medical professional are hard to comprehend. It is also a deplorable response by a public health official to a genuine call for assistance. But then they ARE the ‘gatekeepers’.

The member of the Vet Board who was consulted by DHHS needs to speak for him - or herself rather than being verballed by Dr Pickin.

The DHHS needs to also release the formal advice received from the pathologists or laboratory manager of the Animal Health Laboratory at Mt Pleasant on the matter.

As a veterinary pathologist I consider this a deplorable response by a public health official.

Earlier on Tasmanian Times: Rosebery: The place that killed them