Jo was born with a love of animals big and small and has particular interests in animal welfare, NZ’s ecology, and scientific integrity. She qualified at Honours level in ecology (studies of ecosystems: Limnology (freshwater), Ecology and Applied Ecology) and animal behaviour, then gained a PhD in animal behaviour, followed by 14 years with AgResearch, studying and publishing on farm animal behaviour and management.
In 2004 Jo took on a farmed venison pet treat business which she built up and sold in 2018, when The Wild Treat Company Ltd was born. The new venture brings together Jo’s interests in providing harm-free pest control with delighting and nourishing cats and dogs.
Jo’s interests in ecology, animal welfare and scientific integrity led her to compile and publish an Index on 49 subjects, using direct quotes from the government’s 2007 reassessment of 1080 poison (used in pest control). This Index increased public access to and awareness of issues1. In 2011 she carried out a peer review of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report on 1080 poison2. She presented an invited review to the NZ Ecological Society in 2015 then published reviews online in 20163 and 20174.
In September 2011 Jo addressed a need to found Dog Rescue Dunedin Charitable Trust, to rehome dogs left unwanted and condemned in the Dunedin Pound. After 4 years the charity had saved 270 dogs and Jo left the organisation in capable hands.
Jo considers, on the basis of her background and experience, that using resources from wild pests is a winning outcome for animals, people and the environment.
Links to referenced documents: