The PETA Story

The PETA story begins at Ruakura Agricultural Research Centre in Waikato,Phillips%2c Doug Aug1959

New Zealand in the 1950’s where PETA’s inspiration Dr Doug Phillips, founded the Biophysics Group and led the group for over 30 years.

Dr Phillips was at the forefront of bloat control research in dairy cows, with his published research being quoted in numerous scientific papers around the world. He became a world-leading authority on drinking water treatment as a means of preventing bloat and common metabolic diseases.

This research and development of control methods for bloat led to the introduction of the Pluronics for bloat in the late 1950’s. Subsequently drinking water studies carried on over many years on the No. 1 Dairy Farm at Ruakura Agricultural Research Centre, led to the development of successful water treatment methods and the invention of the floating trough dispenser. This was later licensed to Peta Enterprises Ltd who have been developing and manufacturing dispensers since 1974, supplying local and overseas markets.

This water trough treatment technique, although strongly opposed in the early years by “conventional experts”, was finally accepted as the preferred method of treatment for a variety of animal diseases including bloat, magnesium and other mineral deficiencies as well as facial eczema.


The Challenge of Finding the Best Treatment Method

DomSaltfig1To administer prophylactic materials to farm animals for the control of metabolic diseases, is no simple matter.

The active material, be it bloat control remedy, zinc or mineral salt, must be administered in a carefully controlled dose rate according to body-size. Too little or too much can be catastrophic — particularly in the case of bloat remedies or zinc.

For many years direct drenching was seen as the most effective way.  But not so! Dr Phillips noted that with drenching dose rate is generally fixed at a level suited to the largest animals, which overdoses the smaller animals.  Drenching is costly and very time consuming. Consequently, it is often started too late and stopped too soon – with devastating effects.

What is more, the concentrated solutions used in drenching are often caustic and can lead to severe damage to an animal’s throat with loss in production.

Following the acceptance of water treatments as an effective means of keeping animals healthy, in-line water treatment systems entered the market.


However, the key difference with in-line treatment systems, in contrast to Dr Phillips’ research, is that they generally dose on a per-litre basis, which doesn’t allow for the large fluctuations in the daily water intake by animals due to weather conditions, and other factors. A per-litre basis of treatment leads to overdosing on high intake days and under-dosing on low intake days.

The PETA Principle, which states that herds should be dosed on a per-animal-per-day basis, comes directly from Dr Phillips research.

Another critical scientific finding from the Ruakura Agricultural Research Centre, is that because PETA Dispensers dispense the treatment material at a rate that matches the daily drinking pattern of the herd, an almost uniform concentration level can be maintained in the trough.

This means that no matter whether an animal drinks mainly at the start, middle or end of the drinking period, they will be drinking the same concentration as all other animals in the herd that day.  You can read more information here: How The Dispensers Work

Continuing StrongIMG_9042

Today PETA Enterprises is run by Peter Phillips, with PETA Dispensers being sold to an expanding number of farmers around the world.  The dispensers continue to be manufactured in New Zealand, and are sold through retailers in New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, and more.

Available in New Zealand, Australia, UK, Japan and more.