Business brief: Christchurch Convention Centre (7/11/05)

Worms, ticks, flys and other parasites subject to world vets’ scrutiny

A recent five-day international conference held at the Christchurch       Convention Centre highlights the economic impact and significance of
business meetings to the city. The 20th International Conference of the World Association of the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology  (WAAVP) met from 16-20 October, and had an economic impact on the city of $1.8 million.


The conference attracted 716 attendees, including 39 from Christchurch, 91 from the rest of New Zealand, 21 from the Middle East, 21 from Japan, 161 from Australia, 19 from Asia, 227 from Europe (including Britain), 28 from Africa, 94 from North America and 15 from other countries.  These figures include trade exhibitors, delegates and their accompanying partners.


The theme -From science to solutions – produced much innovative thought of the practical application of scientific research to the adverse effects of parasites including flys, ticks and worms.


The conference used the main convention halls and many of the smaller meeting rooms. Associated cooperative functions where held in other attractive venue sites of Christchurch, the Garden City of the World.


Bayer hosted an evening at the world’s top Antarctica interpretative complex, the International Antarctic Centre, with special guest speaker New Zealand's living icon, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to conquer Mt Everest in 1953. Another function supported by Merial was held at the Christchurch Art Gallery. The conference gala dinner at the Convention Centre featured a metre-tall butter sculpture of a double tapeworm helix, which attracted great interest and many photographs!


Dr Bill Pomroy, senior lecturer in veterinary parasitology at Massey University chaired the local organising committee. Australian Nick Sangster (Sydney University) chaired the scientific committee.


 Major sponsors were Bayer (Germany), Novartis  (Switzerland), Fort Dodge (USA), Intervet  (The Netherlands), Merial  (France) Agritech (NZ) and Pfizer (USA).


Next year the 21st International Conference is being held in Belgium, home of WAAVP President Jozef Vercruysse.