Sheep News-View From The Lambing Shed

It’s been a very wet winter, and as the majority of our clients will be reading this in the thick of lambing – we hope it is in a warm (green) spring. Since the last bumper we have seen TeamSheep returning to the fold with myself, Nicky and Bella returning from maternity leave. This has coincided with the busy time in the sheep calendar. Thank you to all who helped make our lamb survival meetings a success.
Some seasonal reminders for the upcoming quarter:

  1. Metabolic profiling is recommended in ewes 3-4 weeks pre-lambing to assess if their diet is sufficient
  2. There is some free and subsidised abortion testing available – speak to Team Sheep to discuss, and remember this is also likely to be useful for ewes scanning in lamb but barren at the end of lambing
  3. Remember to scribble down your end of lambing head count – this will be important for our 2024 Lamb Survival Survey
  4. This is a good time of year to get some weights from dry ewe lamb/hogg replacements – send the weigh session to your vet to assess performance and if they’re likely to hit pre-tupping targets

Written by; Emily Gascoigne, Veterinary Surgeon

Joint Ill

Joint ill can be a significant problem for sheep flocks and seems to strike without warning. This is a really tricky disease to deal with and there is unfortunately no easy answer to unpicking the reason some flocks are hit some years with a large number of cases.
The organism most commonly associated with Joint Ill in lambs is Streptococcus dysgalactiae. Disease is predominantly seen in lambs 5-10 days old (ie mainly ‘post-turnout’). This bacterium lives commensally (ie: usually causing no problems) in the vagina of the ewes. In order to cause Joint Ill in the lambs, the bacteria must enter the lambs – there are multiple potential portals for entry including – the mouth, navel, castration and docking wounds, ear tag hole etc. Which portal a bacterium enters into the lambs is difficult to identify. Equally why some lambs are affected and others not, despite similar management, can also be difficult to unravel.

First line of defence in prevention
Given this is a bacterial disease where the bacterium must enter the body of the lamb in order to cause disease, there are a number of key management practices that will help to reduce overall risk of Joint Ill:

  • Lambing shed hygiene – sheds should not be over stocked at the start of lambing and must be regularly bedded up to ensure a clean, dry environment for ewes to lamb in. Over stocking can also increase stress in ewes and affect ewe feed intakes (which can supress the immune system)
  • Lambing pen hygiene – there should be a ratio of no more than 10 ewes allocated to each individual post-lambing pen, to minimise the risk of bacteria load build up over the lambing period. Pens should be cleaned out or as a minimum, disinfected and then well bedded between individuals
  • Lambing hygiene – when an ewe is assisted with lambing, clean gloves should be worn every time. Whilst good handwashing is important, it is not possible to remove all bacteria from the crevices of hands with a quick wash – hence gloves are advisable and practical to optimise hygiene when moving between ewes in a busy lambing shed
  • Gloves generally – it is advisable to wear gloves in the lambing shed and replace them when handling different newborn lambs – a wet lamb that has just emerged from the vagina of an ewe may well be carrying significant amounts of Strep dysgalactiae bacteria on its wool and changing gloves after handling it will prevent the spread from one family to the next
  • Navel dipping – navels should be dipped in strong iodine solution asap after birth, but after the ewe has licked off the lamb – so as to ensure the iodine is not immediately licked off. Some farmers repeat the navel dip after a few hours as an extra precaution. A hygienic dip cup that is regularly cleaned is preferred over a spray to ensure 360 degree coverage of the navel
  • Colostrum – this is vital – good quality (dependent on ewe nutrition pre-lambing), quantity and in a timely fashion – Lambs need 20% BW in colostrum in 24 hours i.e. a 4kg lamb will need 800ml in day one, and 400ml of that to be fed within 6 hours of being born
  • Feeding equipment – stomach tubes and bottles should be rigorously cleaned and sterilised between uses
  • Castration and docking hygiene – rings should be clean and tails and scrotums should be dry and free from faecal material when rings are applied. Rings can be sprayed with surgical spirit if not coming directly out of the packet before application, to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination
  • Ear tags – these should be applied again only to clean, dry ears. It is advisable to spray ear tags with surgical spirit prior to applicationFurther contributory factors
    Studies looking more closely into whether or not Joint Ill is a significant issue on farms from one year to the next, despite best management practices as above, have identified that in any problem year there is always another ‘on farm factor’ that may be playing a role. This might be different on different farms. Whilst it is impossible to definitively rule in or out any predisposing factors, it would be prudent to look to address any problems on farm that might be adding to the risks. Examples would include an infectious abortion problem; trace element deficiency; ongoing lameness issues; suboptimal ewe condition or nutrition. There may also be a question of whether some ewes carry higher loads of the offending bacteria than others and therefore pose a higher risk of having lambs which then go on to suffer from Joint Ill. Keeping good records will help to identify possible carrier ewes.Treatment recommendations
    Lambs should be treated as soon as any signs of Joint Ill are seen. The sooner in the course of disease that treatment is started, the more likely the chance of success. Ideally affected lambs should receive a single dose of Metacam (this lasts 2-3 days) and then antibiotics. Discuss with your vet for the most appropriate choice for your flock. However, it is important to be aware that there is widespread resistance to Oxytetracycline and this is not appropriate.
    The difficulty with Joint Ill is that once chronic joint damage has occurred (as a result of the infection) there is a very low chance of recovery. I would suggest that there may be some cases either that have been caught too late or show no response to treatment that are unlikely to recover and therefore unfortunately, euthanasia may be the most appropriate action. Remember chronically lame animals cannot be transported for slaughter.
    Make sure to discuss Joint Ill at your flock planning meeting and to record cases to permit review.Written By Louise Silk, Veterinary Surgeon

Lamb Survival Meetings – Round Up

We rounded off last year with a series of lamb survival regional meetings on the topic of ‘Abortion in the Ewe Flock’ which took the ever-popular format of a pub quiz!
Abortion is a major production limiting disease in sheep. It is an important cause of lamb mortality and morbidity (ill thrift) and a common reason for maiden females (ewe lambs and shearlings) failing to successfully enter the flock with lambs at foot.
After being well fed and watered teams were put through their paces to test their knowledge on the three most common causes of infectious abortion in ewes; Toxoplasmosis, Chlamydia and Campylobacter.
Here is a summary of the key facts about each of the major causes and the top take home messages.

Toxoplasmosis

  • The intermediate hosts are cats (especially young ones) and rats which contribute to the spread of disease
  • Forage contaminated with infected cat or rat faeces is a high risk – beware when buying in forage
  • Infection in non-pregnant ewes will lead to good immunity. Infection during pregnancy will either cause high-barren rates, abortion of mummified fetuses or weak lambs depending on stage of pregnancy

Chlamydia

  • Bacterial infection spread ewe to ewe in infected vaginal discharge
  • Most common cause of abortion and buying-in is the biggest risk factor
  • The bacteria target the placenta causing inflammation and thickening
  • Can cause abortion this pregnancy or the subsequent pregnancy depending on when infected

Campylobacter

  • Not as common, but can cause major abortion storms
  • Infection spread sheep to sheep, or via the environment or carrion – making control hard
  • Abortion happens close to term and lambs can look quite normal
  • Infected non-pregnant ewes can develop good immunity

Top Tips

  • Any ewe that has aborted must be promptly isolated and should be kept at pasture or on bedding that can be disposed of
  • Abortion rate of 2% warrants investigation – beware the trickle effect!
  • Ideally freeze material from abortions early in the season and clearly identify ewe
  • Aborted lambs and placenta should be retained and double bagged
  • Pregnant women or people who are immunocompromised should not enter the same airspace as pregnant ewes
  • Vaccination is possible against all of the big 3 and is very cost-effective control
  • All replacements should be vaccinated – homebred or bought-in

There was great involvement from all teams (and staff!) and stiff competition to win the much sought after bag of sweets and the all-important pride. We thank you for your support of these meetings and hope to see you at the next one.
If you are concerned about abortion, weak lambs or high empty rates, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your routine vet – early diagnosis is key.

Written by: Esme Moffett, Veterinary Surgeon

Bundle of fun?

No, not another TeamSheep baby on the horizon- this time… worms! Is one of your action points for your business for 2024 to do more worm egg counts to aid surveillance? Did you know that our Flock Health Advisory Package (FHAP) members are entitled to 10% discount on routine FEC prices and that we can also do Worm Egg Count Bundles. These bundles are worm egg counts at a significantly reduced cost when worm egg count “credits” are bought in bulk for a season. Speak to a member of Team Sheep by calling 01935 83682 for more information.

**RELAUNCH FOR 2024 – Synergy Lamb Survival Survey – 10 Years**

We had a long history of benchmarking lamb survival at the practice with our annual survey. We had had a two year hiatus whilst we explored our silage competition and abortion but for 2024 our lamb survival survey is back.
It is all information you are likely to have on farm already and collating it will be useful for your health planning meetings as well as seeing where you perform vs other farmers. Please note the new question for 2024 on wormer resistance!
Why benchmark? The data can feed directly back into your flock health plan and we can use it to compare your performance (anonymously) to other commercial flocks – where do you sit?
Who? The survey is designed for flocks of 100 ewes of more and ideally for flocks who pregnancy scan their ewes.
What? Each year we ask a few extra questions about something TeamSheep are focusing on. Inspired by the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway Funding– this year we want to review resistance status in wormers sheep flocks in the Synergy patch.
How? Please complete your form and return your form either to your routine vet, by email to emily.gascoigne@synergyfarmhealth.com or post to

FAO Emily Gascoigne.
The Transmission Hall,
Rampisham Business Centre,
Rampisham Down,
Maiden Newton,
Dorset  DT2 0HS
When? Deadline is 1st October for pre-Christmas meetings.

Your can find the Synergy Lamb Survival Survey in our Spring Bumper 2024 Newsletter

Sheep Benchmarking
Sheep Benchmarking
Tom Woolacott

Tom Woolacott BVetMed PGDipVCP MRCVS

Tom graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2020 and joined Synergy full time after completing the RVC/Synergy Farm Health internship. Tom is interested in all aspects of farm animal practice and is Somerset born and bred therefore enjoys working in an area ge knows and loves.

IR_540x540

Imogen Rogers BVetMed PGDip MRCVS

Imogen graduated in 2019, and then completed the well established RVC/Synergy Farm Health internship. Imogen has a particular interest in sheep medicine, smallholder education and youngstock.

Louise Silk

Louise Silk MA VetMB MRCVS

Louise graduated in 2007 and has spent her whole career working in farm animal practice in Dorset and Wiltshire. Louise has a particular interest in flock health and suckler herd production. Louise enjoys delivering farmer training as well as facilitating discussion group meetings, particularly for the suckler herds of Salisbury plain.

GCM_540x540

Graeme McPherson BVSc DBR MRCVS

Graeme graduated in 1994 and worked in his native Australia before moving to the UK as a farm animal vet, first in Oxfordshire and now at Synergy Farm Health. Graeme is a qualified AHDB mastitis control plan deliverer and completed his Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 2020. Graeme has varied clinical interests relating to dairy herd health and productivity, as well as considerable experience in camelid medicine.  Graeme is the North Regional Lead vet and a shareholder in the practice. 

RCH_540x540

Rachel Hayton BSc (Vet Sci) BVM&S Cert CHP MRCVS

Advanced Practitioner in Cattle Health and Production

Rachel graduated in 1993 and obtained her Certificate in Cattle Health and Production in 1998.  Rachel joined Southfield Veterinary Centre in 1995 which became Synergy Farm Health in 2009.   Rachel focuses on performing routine fertility visits for dairy clients, looking after all aspects of herd health.  Rachel is also one of Synergy’s lead mastitis vets, enjoying carrying out mastitis investigations into challenging situations on farm.  She is a trained AHDB Mastitis Control Plan deliverer.  Rachel became a shareholder in the practice in 2018.

AJH_540x540

Alastair Hayton BVMS DCHP MRCVS

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production

Director

Alastair qualified in 1993 and has worked in farm animal practice in the south west throughout his career.  Alastair gained the RCVS Diploma in Cattle Health and Production in 2003 and became an RCVS specialist in 2011. He is a member of the Nottingham University Dairy Herd Health Group and in 2015 was voted Farmers Weekly Farm Advisor of the Year.  Alastair’s areas of particular interest include nutrition, mastitis, camelid medicine and organic dairy production. Alastair performs a large amount of consultancy work throughout the veterinary and food production sectors, including expert witness legal work.  Alastair is the veterinary consultant to one of the UK’s largest supermarket milk pools. 
Alastair is heavily involved in the research and development of the novel Enferplex bTB test through Surefarm Ltd.

Charlotte Debbaut DVM MRCVS

Charlotte qualified in 2012 in her native Belgium and has spent most of her career working in various farm animal practices across the UK. Charlotte joined Synergy Farm Health in 2020. She is especially interested in dairy cow medicine, including youngstock health and productivity. Charlotte is also a CowSignals Master trainer.

TA_540x540

Tom Angel BVetMed MRCVS

Tom graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2019 and joined Synergy full time after completing the RVC/Synergy Farm Health internship. In 2022, Tom started studying for the European Diploma in Bovine Health Management and a Masters of Veterinary Medicine in association with the RVC, where his time is split between clinical work, research, and teaching undergraduate students. Tom is interested in all aspects of farm animal practice, but his particular areas of interest and research are in dairy transition management and calf health. 

EPJ_540x540

Ed Powell-Jackson MA VetMB MRCVS

Ed qualified in 2006 and has spent his whole career working in farm animal practice at Synergy Farm Health, and prior to that at Kingfisher Veterinary Practice. Ed is interested in all aspects of bovine health, in particular infectious disease control and robotic dairy units, and provides veterinary care to some of the highest performing robotic dairy herds in the UK.  Ed runs Synergy’s discussion group for dairy farmers on the Blackdown Hills and is also a qualified AHDB mastitis control plan deliverer.  Ed became a shareholder in the practice in 2013.  In addition to his clinical work Ed has various other senior roles at Synergy, including spending a number of years as west regional lead, whilst now having responsibilities in finance and leading the marketing of the practice.

TDS_540x504

Tom Shardlow BVSc MRCVS

Tom graduated in 2007 and has spent the majority of his career working in farm animal practice in Dorset. Tom is particularly interested in youngstock health and improving dairy heifer performance, and as the leader of our Youngstock team advises farmers on building design, preventive healthcare and nutrition across the practice. Tom became a shareholder in the practice in 2018.

esm-540x540-1

Esme Moffett BVMS DBR MRCVS

Esme qualified in 2009 and has worked in farm animal practice throughout her career, both in the UK and in New Zealand.  Esme has particular interests in bovine fertility and completed the prestigious Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 2020.  She is also interested in dairy youngstock and calf rearing and delivers consultancy in this area to a number of clients.  Esme became a shareholder in the practice in 2019.

ASM_540x540

Alasdair Moffett BVMS MSc MRCVS

Alasdair qualified in 2008 and has worked in farm animal veterinary practices within the UK, and in New Zealand. He recently completed a diploma in International Animal Health, where he focused on disease costing and modeling (particularly bovine TB) and a ‘One Health’ approach to antimicrobial resistance. Alasdair is particularly motivated by striving to improve efficiency in the medium sized family dairy enterprises of the practice. Alasdair became a shareholder in the practice in 2019.

GF_540x540

Gareth Foden BVetMed Cert AVP MRCVS

Gareth qualified in 2011 and is interested in a wide range of farm animal veterinary work particularly cattle lameness, fertility and surgery, and likes the practical approach to health planning on farm. Gareth is a key member of the Cattle Lameness Academy team and continues to develop a specialism in this area.  Gareth is the West region lead vet and became a shareholder in the practice in 2019.

clare eames 540x540

Clare Eames BVSc MRCVS

Clare qualified in 2001 and has had a varied career working in farm animal practice, as a consultant for ADAS and as a technical vet for Pfizer Animal Health.  Clare is particularly interested in beef and small ruminants and enjoys teaching the beef module of the RVC student rotation.

Keith Cutler

Keith Cutler BSc BVSc DipECBHM MRCVS

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production

Keith graduated in 1990 and joined Synergy Farm Health in 2020, having worked in the Salisbury area for over 25 years running the farm animal division of Endell Veterinary Group. Keith has varied clinical interests which include both dairy and suckler herd management, fertility, lameness and infectious disease control in cattle. Keith is a Diplomate of the European College of Bovine Health Management and a Director of CHeCS (Cattle Health Certification Standards) who oversee all licensed cattle health schemes in the UK.

Tom Cook_540x540

Tom Cook BVSc MRCVS

Tom qualified in 2011 and has spent his whole career working in farm animal practice in Somerset. He is the son of one of Synergy’s clients near Taunton and consequently has a deep understanding of both dairy farming and the wider agricultural industry.  Tom is interested in all areas of livestock productivity and herd health.

Mike Kerby

Mike Kerby BVSc CertAVP DBR MRCVS

Advanced Practitioner in Bovine Reproduction

Mike qualified from Bristol in 1985 and has been in farm animal practice in the south west ever since. Mike was a partner at Delaware Veterinary Group in Castle Cary for 16 years before joining Synergy Farm Health in 2020. Mike is an honorary lecturer at Liverpool University and sits on the advisory board at Surrey University Vet School. He holds the prestigious Diploma in Bovine Reproduction from Liverpool University and has extensive experience of dairy herd health. He also has a particular enthusiasm for bovine surgery and developing the next generation of cattle vets.

Martijn 't Hoen

Martijn’t Hoen DVM CertAVP MRCVS

Martijn qualified in 2008. His entire career has been focused on farm animals, working in practices in his native Netherlands before moving to the UK in 2011. Martijn joined Synergy in 2020. Martijn is experienced in all aspect of cattle and camelid veterinary work, including bull fertility examinations and delivering AI training for farmers. He is also a CowSignals  Master trainer.

Nim Panesar

Nim Panesar BVetMed MRCVS

Nim graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2018 and spent three years working in predominantly dairy practice on the North Devon/Cornwall border. She has recently relocated to the Salisbury area to join Synergy’s expanding East team, and also to be closer to family in Berkshire. Her main clinical interest is fertility work and working to improve herd reproductive performance. She also enjoys surgical cases.  Nim is currently working towards the CertAVP in Cattle Health.

Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies BVetMed CertCHP FRCVS

Senior Director

Andrew is Senior Director of Synergy Farm Health having been Managing Director since inception in 2009 until November 2021.

His responsibilities include exploring opportunities for Business Development, working closely with the Marketing team, being involved in Medicines procurement and generally advising Senior Management. 

He is very motivated by people development and education and has been heavily involved with the development of our Internship programme and the Farm Animal Teaching rotation for final year veterinary students with the Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

Andrew is POV (Principal Official Veterinarian) of Farmcare West Ltd; on the medicines procurement Team for XLVets UK Ltd; Non-Executive Director for VDS (Veterinary Defence Society) and a Governor at Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester.

Andrew was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) in 2020 for meritorious contributions to the Veterinary Profession.

Clinically he is interested in proactive health planning programmes and calf health. He has an active interest in Responsible Use of Medicines and the steps we can take in veterinary practice in minimising any impact on AMR (anti-microbial resistance).

He received the UK Food & Farming Industry Animal Health Adviser of the year award in 2019.

In his spare time, he is a keen follower of both rugby union and football – being a passionate Welshman avidly following the national rugby team but also a lifelong supporter, for his sins, of Swansea City AFC! He is a member of a local mixed voice Choir, enjoys walking the Dorset coast and countryside with his family and their dog.

SFH Genetics and Genomics Info Pack

Download Info Pack

Add your details below to access

Read Synergy Farm Health’s Privacy Policy Here

TCW_540x540

Tom Warboys BVetMed PGDipVCP MRCVS

Tom graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2017 and joined Synergy full time after completing the RVC/Synergy Farm Health internship. His particular interests include suckler production, preventative health and sustainability. Tom is the editor of our beef newsletter and is studying for his Masters in Sustainable and Efficient production alongside clinical work. He is also part of the RVC teaching team. 

POM 540X540

Pete O’Malley MA VetMB PGCertVetEd FHEA MRCVS

Pete has worked in farm animal practice in the south west since 2012, providing services to a large range of clients across the Somerset region during that time. Pete’s interests lie in optimising animal health and productivity in dairy herds through data driven decision making and training. His passion for education includes that of clients and students alike.

He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and is now studying for his Post Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Education and certificate in advanced veterinary practice. Pete leads a clinical teaching rotation at Synergy for Royal Veterinary College students and is a shareholder of the business.

CJM_540x540

Charlotte Mouland BVSc PGDipVCP MRCVS

Charlotte graduated from the University of Bristol in 2015 and joined Synergy as an RVC intern in 2016 after spending a calving season in New Zealand. Whilst enjoying all aspects of farm animal practice, Charlotte is particularly interested in flock health planning and works with a wide range of sheep flocks across the practice. She is also undertaking a post-graduate certificate in sheep health and production.

JDR_540x540

Jon Reader BVSc DCHP FRCVS

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production

Managing Director

Jon Reader qualified in 1997 and has been a farm animal vet in Somerset ever since. In 2010 Jon gained the RCVS Diploma in Cattle Health and Production and in 2013 was runner up as Farmers Weekly Farm Advisor of the Year. Jon is a member of the Nottingham Dairy Herd Health Group as well as being a member of the UK Dairy Cattle Mobility Steering Group. Jon was awarded the prestigious RCVS Fellowship in 2020 for his meritorious contributions to clinical practice. Jon has a particular interest in foot trimming, working with para professionals and using technology to assist in the recording and analysis of mobility and lameness records.

Jon is our Managing Director, and part of the senior management team.  He has specific responsibility for the financial management of the business.

JMM_540x504

Jo Masters Cert Ed RVN Operations Director

After a varied career in veterinary nursing, teaching, examining and practice management Jo joined Synergy Farm Health in 2012 when the farm animal service of Langport Veterinary Centre also transferred. Jo’s extensive experience of all sectors of veterinary practice, coupled with her farming background enables her to head our operational logistics working with our teams of clinicians and support staff to organise and implement resources, facilities, and protocols. Working with the Operations Manager Jo is responsible for staff employment and HR management as well as overseeing our teams of staff both in and out of the practice. Working with the Operational team Jo implements plans, projects and new initiatives as well as being responsible for elements of practice representation and client liaison.  Jo describes her role as ‘herding cats’ and is proud to be the first female Director of Synergy Farm Health.

PJS_540x540

Pete Siviter BVetMed MRCVS

Pete qualified in 2013 and has been based in Dorset with Synergy Farm Health ever since.  Pete has particular enthusiasm for on-farm discussions about herd health and preventative medicine, as well as enjoying emergency “fire brigade” work.  Pete also has an interest in small holdings and pigs, both domestic and commercial. 

NO-540X540

Nicky Ogden BVM BVS MVM MRCVS

Nicky qualified in 2012 and has spent her entire career working in farm animal practice, both in the UK and New Zealand. In 2018 she spent a year completing further study in sheep health and production at Nottingham University. Nicky enjoys improving flock health and productivity and joined Synergy in 2021 to further enhance our sheep team.

cr 540 x 540

Claire Rudd BVetMed MRCVS

Claire qualified in 2005, and has worked in Dorset for the majority of her career.  Her main clinical focus is cattle medicine, and she has particular interests in fertility and infectious disease control. 

AN_540x540

Andre Northey DrMVet MRCVS

Andre graduated in 2005 in his native Germany, before joining Synergy Farm Health in 2012.  Andre is especially interested in bovine surgery and set up our Embryo Collection and Transfer service for cattle and alpacas. In 2020 Andre completed the well regarded Cow Signals training.  Andre delivers our four day AI course for farmers and herdsmen, as well as teaching final year students from the Royal Veterinary College. 

Bella Lowis_web

Bella Lowis MA VetMB MRCVS

Bella graduated in 2010 and has spent the majority of her career working in Dorset, joining Synergy Farm Health in 2019.  Bella is experienced in all farm animal clinical procedures and has a particular interest in youngstock. 

ECG_540x540 FINAL

Emily Gascoigne MA VetMB DipECSRHM MRCVS
RCVS Recognised Specialist in Sheep Health and Production

Emily graduated in 2012 and has worked at Synergy Farm Health throughout her career. Whilst enthusiastic about all aspects of farm animal practice, Emily has a special interest is sheep and goat production, with particular emphasis on flock health planning, reducing production losses and infectious disease control. Emily gained the European Diploma in Small Ruminant Health Management in 2018 and is an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Sheep Health and Production.  Emily is the Regional Vet Lead for our Central Area and a shareholder in the practice.

SJC_540x540

Sam Cottam BVSc MSc MRCVS

Sam graduated in 2015 and has worked in several farm animal practices in the south west before joining Synergy Farm Health.  Sam has a particular interest in dairy cow nutrition and has been closely involved in the development of our nutritional advice service.  

TGC_540x540

Tom Clarke BVSc MRCVS
Clinical Director

Tom graduated in 2002 and has spent his whole career in farm animal practice, including several years working in New Zealand.  Tom has a particular interest in dairy herd health and productivity, in both intensive high yielding herds as well as grass based block calving units.  Tom is also one of our in house mastitis specialists.  As an AHDB mastitis plan deliverer Tom performs mastitis investigations into challenging situations on farm, specialising in dynamic testing of milking parlours.  Tom became a shareholder in the practice in 2013 and spent a number of years as East regional lead vet, before becoming Clinical Director in 2019. 

Josie Burridge_web 540 x 540

Josie Burridge BVM&S MRCVS

Josie graduated in 2015 and joined Synergy Farm Health in 2019.  Josie has a particular interest in dairy herd health and productivity and especially youngstock.

BMB_540x540

Ben Barber BVetMed MRCVS

Ben qualified in 2014. Ben’s primary interests lie in beef cattle, both suckler herds but also calf rearers and finishers, and he spends a considerable amount of his time delivering consultancy work to the UK’s largest beef integration chain. Ben also delivers routine work to a number of dairy herds where he enjoys improving herd performance and productivity. Ben is actively engaged with the teaching of university students at Synergy and has also been part of teaching projects abroad in aid of charity.  Ben became a shareholder in the practice in 2020.