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Careers in Animal Nutrition Industry and Pharma Summary of Discussion

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									Careers in Animal Nutrition Industry and Pharma Summary of Discussion
Dr. Bob Clement, DVM, Veterinary Communications, Medi-Cal Royal Canin Veterinary Diet

        First we discussed Dr. Clement’s decision to switch to companion animal practice after
working a year in mixed. Dr. Clement had had many jobs before going back to school to get
his DVM degree. He worked overseas, taught elementary school and farmed. When he
entered OVC it was with a view towards working in large animal medicine due to his previous
experience in farming. However, the mixed practice that he was working in for the first year
was very small and required a lot of on call hours, which was interfering with his home life. As
a result he moved to the Glen Erin Animal Hospital, a companion animal practice in
Mississauga, because of the lifestyle it offered.
        In 1999, Dr. Clement was hired by Medi-Cal as a technical sales representative, which
involved him travelling to vet clinics all over Ontario. He had been looking into buying or
opening a practice and was having issues finding one that would work for him. It was at this
point that he mentioned to someone who worked at Medi-Cal that he needed a change, and
asked him to let him know if there were any openings at the company. It turned out there was
an opening at the company, which he was hired to fill. When he began working at Medi-Cal it
was owned by Heinz, then in 2004 it was bought by Royal Canin. At this time Dr. Clement
became the regional sales manager, which meant he was in charge of all the sales
representatives in Ontario. Dr. Clement now works for the Veterianry Communications Group
in the company. His responsibilities include travelling across the country and giving
presentations to clinics and evening seminars to veterinarians.
        Medi-Cal has manufacturing plants in 91 countries, with the newest one being just
outside Guelph. It opened in 2008 and manufactures dry pet food. Medi-Cal is currently
working on an expansion of the plant which will double its manufacturing capacity, and will
also include a 100 seat continuing education center. The new plant is state of the art. In order
to prevent an incident like the melamine/cyanuric acid one a few years ago the plant analyzes
samples off the truck of all the ingredients that arrive at the plant using infrared spectrometry.
This creates a fingerprint of the ingredient, which is compared to an internal database. If the
ingredient doesn’t match the database it means there is something wrong with it and it is turned
away from the plant. All of the air that leaves the plant is cleaned in order to remove any
odour. The cleaning process involves passing the air over trays of bacteria that feed on odour.
The plant is also committed to meeting ISO 14001 standards which are standards for
environmental control. The bags of dry food are vacuum sealed, and prior to sealing nitrogen
gas is forced into the bags. This pushes out all the oxygen preventing oxidation of the food,
which means that when the bag is opened it is as fresh as the day it was made. The plant
produces all its own nitrogen so it doesn’t have to be trucked in, helping to reduce its carbon
footprint. Any kibble waste produced by the plant is eliminated by anaerobic digestion or
composting.
        Dr. Clement was then asked what he missed most about private practice. He said the
biggest thing that he misses is seeing a case through from start to finish and the relationship
you build with a client. However, in his current position he is called on to be a consult on a lot
of cases. The main frustration Dr. Clement has with his job now is that a lot of record keeping
and preparation go into giving a presentation at a clinic, and some people don’t realize this.

								
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