Animal Health Advisor of the Year
Andrew Davies, Synergy Farm Health
Andrew is greatly respected across the veterinary and farming industry. He originates from a farming family in the Upper Swansea Valley and was always destined to follow his roots and become a farm vet. He successfully graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1986 and also gained the RCVS Certificate in Cattle Health and Production in 1992 and with it Advanced Practitioner status.
He started his career with Davidson & Prosser a 13-man mixed practice in South Devon, focusing mainly on the large animal side. In 1989 he joined Southfield Veterinary Centre in Dorchester, following a brief spell working in New Zealand. In 1991 Andrew became a partner in the practice and has never looked back. In 2009, the practice expanded and merged with a neighbouring farm practice in Somerset to form Synergy Farm Health and as one of the six founding directors, Andrew became managing director.
Clinically, he developed a passion for bovine fertility and nutrition, youngstock health and infectious disease control programmes. Andrew has made a huge contribution to the improvement of health and productivity of livestock on farm. He has also been keen for Synergy Health to be involved in research and development, including clinical studies for pharmaceutical and nutritional products but also novel and innovative technology including data analysis, advanced breeding techniques and genomics. He has introduced a working partnership with supermarkets, dairy processors and integrated beef chain companies in both an advisory and consultancy capacity. Andrew has played an integral role in reducing the need for the use of antimicrobials in veterinary practice. He has presented data to the CHAWG/RUMA working group and, as a practice, to the European VMD inspectorate.
Dr Fiona Lovatt, Flock Health
Fiona qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Bristol University in 1995 and specialised in sheep health and production. She holds the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons diploma in sheep, the European College of Small Ruminant diploma, has gained her PhD and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority. Fiona worked in general farm veterinary practice at Castle Veterinary Surgeons in Teesdale, Co Durham until 2012.
When the veterinary school opened at the University of Nottingham in 2007, Fiona began teaching sheep medicine and has been employed there as an associate clinical professor in sheep production medicine. In 2013, Fiona set up Flock Health, a sheep veterinary consultancy business that works with veterinary surgeons, farmers, processors, retailers and pharmaceutical companies in the UK and abroad. This expanded to the concept of Flock Health Clubs, designed to improve sheep vet/farmer engagement.
Recently Fiona has launched the Plan-Protect media campaign regarding the responsible use of medicine in the control of ovine abortion and worked on the report for an IPSOS MORI/Scottish Government survey for over 1,800 sheep farmers into dog-worrying. She has also been involved with the steering group meetings for the AHDB Challenge Sheep project and the VMD-supported sheep scab research project. Since 2016, she has been one of two sheep industry representatives on the RUMA Target Task Force. In 2019 she led the team that produced the document detailing appropriate calculation of metrics for benchmarking antibiotic use on sheep farms as well as the industry guidance on the responsible use of antibiotics in sheep.