BVMS Cert SHP MRCVS
Tel: + 44 (0)1392 872932
Helen is part of our northern region veterinary team, managing our office and clients in and around the Cumbria area.
“My interest in the poultry industry was originally sparked when I was a student, as I often worked on a grandparent broiler breeder farm in the university holidays. After graduating from Glasgow University, I went from working in mixed practice, to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (now APHA) for several years, which is where my interest grew. I was heavily involved in setting up the Poultry Compartment initiative which allows export of birds even when avian influenza is present in a country. It was there that I became involved in production animal pathology and disease investigation – in particular the Louping Ill control programme – part of which looked at the effectiveness of a sheep vaccination programme on the prevalence of the disease in the red grouse population and using sheep as ‘tick mops’. I was also a member of the DEFRA Poultry Expert Group.
Having been part of the veterinary team for over a decade, I’ve worked with a significant number of broiler, layer and hatchery producers. Whilst there is a broad range of producers that I work with in the North West covering all aspects of poultry and gamebirds, I have a special interest in layer medicine and production.
A big focus for me and the clients I work with, is looking at how we can even further improve the health and welfare of the birds under our care. As costs of labour and feed increase, this is becoming even more of a challenge however I’m encouraged to see the impact we’ve already been able to have through the introduction of cost-effective practices and programmes, that look at every stage of the production cycle, to minimise risks of disease and reliance on antibiotics.
As well as my focus on poultry, I continue to have an interest in game birds, particularly grouse, having been involved in a research programme into Cyrptosporidia bayleii (Bulgy Eye).”