Pentalk sets up online vet ‘chat room’

An online forum linking farmers with vets has been set-up in Cumbria through the county’s award winning Pentalk network.

David Black, a veterinarian at the Paragon veterinary group, worked with Pentalk to create the Vetcall web page.

The page can be viewed at

The scheme enables farmers to take part in a forum which provides advice and opinion from a panel of vets on a range of animal health issues.

Several vets are involved in the Vetcall forum which also offers a directory of contact information for vets throughout Cumbria as well as news articles covering current concerns and health issues.

Mr Black explained the rationale behind the web page.

“With longer hours and fewer staff, farmers spend more time on their farms and contact with vets and other farmers is reduced.

“The Vetcall scheme enables them to keep up to date with animal health matters, discuss topics of common concern and even ask questions of the vets involved.”

More than 2300 farmers are members of the Pentalk network which was set up in 2001 to improve communication between farmers during the height of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Ann Risman, who set up the network, says the Vetcall scheme recognises the importance of vets within farming communities throughout Cumbria.