Poultry farming

Three finalists competing for new Young Poultry Vet Award

Two years ago Zoetis began sponsoring the Young Vet category in the National Pig Awards organised by Poultry Business magazine. Now the publishers have introduced a similar category for young poultry vets which Zoetis is also sponsoring.

A career in the poultry industry is not one that many vet students would really be aware of as they begin their university life – and at many universities there isn’t much tuition related to the commercial poultry industry, in comparison to other commercial livestock. Yet there are increasing opportunities in the world of poultry meat and egg production, and this is beginning to attract more graduates as they seek out their future career path.

Three young vets were chosen as finalists and would normally look forward to attending the presentation made at a prestigious industry event at a London hotel. Unfortunately with covid-19 that is not possible this year and a ‘virtual’ event is planned with the awards streamed online on Wednesday November 18 at 4.00pm.

The finalists – Helena Brewer, William Garton and Henry Lamb – come from very different backgrounds but none had any experience of the commercial poultry industry before entering vet school.

- Helena Brewer grew up in rural north Yorkshire where her father bred traditional strains such as Rhode Island Red and Silkies for showing, and she enjoyed helping to look after the chickens.

“As I got a bit older I started working at the kennels and at a vets. I quite enjoyed working with animals, helping at dairy farms and with lambing. So going to be a vet seemed an ideal career choice,” she said.

She went to the Royal (Dick) School at Edinburgh, spent a year at the Royal Veterinary College studying pathology, and when she graduated in 2017 joined the Poultry Health Services team at Sheriff Hutton, near York.

- William Garton lived on a sheep farm in Nottinghamshire, encouraged from a young age to be a vet rather than a farmer. He helped rearing Christmas turkeys, geese and then ducks kept for breeding and eggs.

“Quite quickly that developed into chickens,” he said. “I had an aviary and used to breed rare breed poultry, selling eggs to people in the village. That was my pocket money as a youngster.”

At Nottingham University, he joined the fourth intake at the new vet school. Four years ago he set up a partnership between Avivets and Evolve Pig Health, a nationwide wholesaler and distributor to farmers and veterinary practices.

- Henry Lamb was surrounded by farming in Norfolk, and had decided by the age of five he wanted to be a vet.

“I was always very passionate about animals and about helping people, and then as I progressed through school an interest in science developed – so the three things fitted together really well hand in hand,” said Henry.

Even before starting at the Royal Veterinary College in 2013, he gained early experience of life as a vet at Crowshall Veterinary Services in Norfolk and joined them on graduating.

Lecturing in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2019 provided an exciting opportunity to educate farmers in a growing market about public health and zoonotic disease.

Interestingly, all three finalists have played their part in interesting vet students in the poultry industry, returning to college to give lectures or take part in careers fairs,

Zoetis UK Limited, 1st Floor, Birchwood Building, Springfield Drive, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7LP • www.zoetis.co.uk. Customer support 0845 300 8034 • CustomerSupportUK@zoetis.com • Produced October 2020. MM-11066