The Minster Veterinary Practice is joining forces with the UK’s largest veterinary group dealing with production animals, Westpoint, following a corporate merger.

Currently, Westpoint majors on ruminants in its farms department, with a particular emphasis on dairy cattle. Minster, meanwhile, has a strong presence in the poultry sector, as well as providing veterinary services for beef and sheep. Both practices also cover equine, game birds and companion animals.

As well as strong synergies in veterinary medicine, the merger also makes sense geographically, says Minster chairman Keith Warner. Westpoint’s 19 practices are mainly located in the south-east and south-west of the country, while Minster has its headquarters in Yorkshire and also operates in Leicestershire and Herefordshire.

See more: A day in the life of a poultry vet

He predicted that Minster would benefit from Westpoint’s “active clinical governance structure”. “Their research arm is very strong,” he said. “As we all more towards evidenced-based medication, rather than just doing what vets have always done, we will be able to offer customers an enhanced service.”

Mr Warner insisted that it would be “more than business as usual”, though Minster would retain its trading identity and would effectively be run by the same people.

Westpoint, which is backed by private investment firm August Equity, said the merger would strengthen its own ruminant-focussed practices, research team and laboratory services, enhanced by the recent acquisition of Biobest Laboratories.