A group of farm vets has joined forces to pool expertise and services to form Scotland’s first veterinary association of its type to meet the changing requirements from specialist producers.
Pooling expertise - from Solway Vets' member practices with the new chart to monitor performance data, left to right, front, Walker Miller, Stranraer; Andrea Walker, Wigton; Jimmy More, Kirkcudbright; back, Gareth Boyes, Lockerbie, Ross Muir, Thornhill; David Campion, Whithorn; Graham Bell, Castle Douglas.
Seven practices, involving more than 50 vets with a huge depth and breadth of experience, have formed Solway Vets to share best practice and improve farm health for their clients in South West Scotland and Cumbria.
Members of Solway Vets include Academy Vets in Stranraer, Andrew Miller and Partners, Lockerbie, the Priory Veterinary Centre, Whithorn, the Stewartry Veterinary Centre, Castle Douglas, Galloway Vet Group, Kirkcudbright, Nithsdale Veterinary Surgeons, Thornhill, and Belle Vue Vets in Wigton, Cumbria.
With the region’s agriculture predominantly dairy, beef and sheep production, the majority of the vets specialise in production animals, many with their own area of expertise geared to the issues facing the industry today.
“As the livestock industry is changing we need to optimise levels of service to our clients and we want to emphasise our proactive rather than reactive role,” said Jimmy More, of the Galloway Veterinary Group in Kirkcudbright.
“By sharing our resources and knowledge we can offer our clients the best possible service, drawing on specialist professional and geographical experience from members across our association,” he added.
It has been demonstrated by benchmarking that it is not necessarily the farm with the lowest veterinary costs that is the most profitable - in fact regular veterinary visits usually enhance production.
Solway Vets is keen to tackle all areas of farm animal health, production and profitability.
Clients will benefit from a large laminated chart to assist in monitoring specific performance data. The easily read format will allow staff involved to view progress at a glance.
The unique charts are being supported by Intervet Schering-Plough Animal Health.
At Solway Vets’ official launch at Dumfries Show on Saturday August 6 there will be the opportunity to meet members and enjoy refreshments and a prize draw.
The association’s commitment to supporting livestock farmers in the region is reflected in its organisation of continuing professional development meetings for young vets from its member practices.
Solway Vets will work closely with Scottish universities, offering final year students on-farm experience, aiming to recruit the best students into the area to ensure long term commitment to the industry.
The association will also aim to work closely with other agencies such as SAC and SNFU to communicate with farmers in the region.
Farmers can contact any of the member practices for further information about the association.
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