Graeme Cooke

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, DEFRA

Graeme was appointed by Defra as Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer for the United Kingdom in January 2017. Responsibilities include supporting the Government on animal health and welfare issues at national and international levels, acting as a lead Government spokesperson, ensuring appropriate advice to Ministers, strategic planning and leading the Defra response to outbreaks of exotic animal disease and other threats, including public health. He works closely with CVOs across all the UK administrations and is part of the representation of the UK in the EU and internationally, negotiating on behalf of the UK Government. He has a particular lead on imports policy, regulatory enforcement, surveillance and International Engagement. Based in Westminster, London, he worked at Defra previously from 2001-2007, leaving to undertake a fulltime MBA at a London Business School.

He became a Director of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), based in Switzerland, taking the Veterinary Department through required changes in approach to meet the demands of the sport in the modern era. This necessitated a coordinated uplift of all Veterinary policies and their means of delivery through 3000 Veterinarians in over 120 countries.

Prior to re-joining Defra, Graeme had a non-veterinary strategy role within MOD.

He is a past member of expert groups at the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE), EU panels, and the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) board.

Previously a clinician, Graeme is from a farming background in Northern Ireland, and is a Cambridge graduate. An active reservist Lt-Colonel in the British Army, he deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. He is a Trustee of The Brooke Equine Charity.

Graeme and his wife are enthusiastic horse owners. He completed the 2017 London Marathon raising funds for both The Brooke and for Neuroendocrine Cancer.

Graeme Cooke
Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, UK
DEFRA

William Garton

Director Avivets, UK

Will has practiced poultry medicine since graduating from the University of Nottingham veterinary school in 2014. After completing an internship in poultry medicine and practice Will moved to the northwest to become a director of a poultry-specific veterinary practice. In 2016, he founded his own practice – Avivets; a dedicated poultry and gamebird practice based in Cheshire, servicing poultry producers throughout the Northwest and consulting on a national level.

Will has spent all of his professional career as a poultry vet and particularly enjoys working with free range layers and pullet rearing. He gained a postgraduate distinction certificate in poultry health and management from Harper Adams University and has completed the Pirbright Institute ‘Poultry Health Course’. He is due complete a second postgraduate certificate in Veterinary Business Management with the University of Liverpool by the end of summer 2018 and will then look to complete the Royal Veterinary College’s certificate of Advanced Practice in poultry medicine.

Will has had previous lecturing positions at Nottingham and Surrey University vet schools and particularly enjoys the training aspects of his day to day practice. He is a LANTRA approved trainer and an Official Veterinarian for avian exports. He currently sits on the RSPCA advisory panel for pullet rearing.

William Garton,
Director Avivets, UK

Gary Ford

Gary Ford was appointed NFU Chief Poultry Adviser in September 2013 having joined the NFU in January 2009 as a Group Secretary based in Staffordshire. Gary’s practical poultry experience came as an agricultural manager in the broiler industry where he worked for ten years before he joined the NFU. In this role he was responsible for all aspects of production on company farms as well as contract growers – a role that brought him into contact with many of the key players that are involved in the poultry sector today.

Gary is based at the NFU’s HQ in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire however he also spends time at the NFU’s London and Brussels offices. Covering both the poultry meat and egg sector Gary’s role is to promote the interests of NFU poultry members and to provide support – the recent AI cases a good example.

Gary has a degree in Law from the University of Staffordshire and a degree in Agriculture from Writtle Agricultural College, Essex.

Gary Ford
Chief Poultry Adviser
NFU

Jake Davies

Editor, Poultry World

Jake Davis is an experienced trade journalist specialising food, farming and rural affairs.

Based in the UK, he joined Proagrica in 2012 as a reporter for Farmers Weekly and is now an editor of Poultry World, the leading independent magazine serving the commercial poultry sector in the UK.

Jake Davies
Editor
Poultry World

Dr. Claire Weeks

Farm Animal Welfare Consultant

Claire has spent most of her research career working with industry to solve practical problems. From early work on poultry house ventilation and insulation, she moved on to lameness issues in broilers and improving transport conditions for all classes of poultry. For many years Claire has been working on knowledge exchange in laying hen welfare in general and for the past decade or so on injurious pecking. She developed the FeatherWel website and guide and has been part of several initiatives pioneering farmer-led innovation and knowledge exchange such as the EU Hennovation project.

Claire is a founder member of the multi-partner Laying Hen Welfare Forum, which aims to facilitate industry-wide uptake of best practice in several areas of welfare concern.

Claire’s consultancy work with industry and charities includes knowledge exchange, training, market research and technical review reports. She is also an award-winning freelance journalist who specialises in making technical and scientific information interesting and accessible.

Dr. Claire Weeks
Farm Animal Welfare Consultant

Emily Burton

Associate Professor, Nottingham Trent University

Emily Burton is an Associate Professor at Nottingham Trent University, where she leads the Poultry Research Unit. She studied for a BSc from the University of Leeds and a PhD from the University of Nottingham. Her research now focuses on understanding interactions between feed materials and gastrointestinal environment in poultry with three emergent themes:

  • Development of assessment methods for gastrointestinal response to feed and feed supplements
  • Screening of interventions aiming to positively influence the intestinal microbiome in poultry
  • Manipulation of raw materials to improve their utilization by the bird

Emily is president of the World’s Poultry Science Association (WPSA) UK Branch and represents the UK in the European Working Groups on Nutrition (WG2) and Education and Information (WG11). Alongside her research, Emily’s passion is for helping students to develop into scientists capable of making a tangible contribution to the advancement of animal science.

Emily Burton
Associate Professor
Nottingham Trent University

Steven Mitchell

Greengage

From listening to farmers at trade shows and conferences around the world and sharing the latest findings from commissioned scientific research at seminars, Steven Mitchell’s role at Greengage is to ensure all new products are relevant to current needs of farmers and producers together with developing ones they don’t yet know they need! Since joining Greengage in summer 2017, Steven and the team are radically changing the business with new and improved products, customer support and training. Steven is playing an influential role in transforming Greengage from a manufacturer of LED lighting to that of a leading provider of an intelligent platform for precision livestock farming.

Steven Mitchell
Greengage

Hanna Hamina

Executive Director, Finnish Poultry Association

Hanna Hamina is the Executive Director of the Finnish Poultry Association, which is a central organization for all operators in the poultry sector: farmers, meat processors, egg packaging companies, hatcheries, breeding companies, veterinarians and researchers.

Hanna is also a Finish agriculture and forestry entrepreneur. Her farm is situated in the south-west part of Finland, in Eura, where she has around 150,000 broilers. With the background of social science studies and more than 19 years’ experience of producing broiler meat and alongside turkey meat for five years, she has a broad view of the whole poultry sector. She is tweeting actively about poultry production and participating in public debates about food.

In her spare time, she is volunteering for Women’s Bank, which raises funds to support women’s sustainable entrepreneurship and livelihood in developing countries. At the moment she is involved in establishing a layer farm in Uganda.

Hanna Hamina
Executive Director
Finnish Poultry Association

Chris Stanford

Managing Director, Arden Wood Shavings Ltd

Chris is the founder and Managing Director of Arden Wood Shavings Ltd. Under Chris’ stewardship Arden has grown to be one of the UK’s leading bedding suppliers, focussing on the demands and challenges of meeting the requirements of the poultry sector. Arden now supplies in excess of 60,000 tonnes annually making it one of the country’s largest bedding suppliers.

Arden has been responsible for important innovations with a particular emphasis on bio-secure manufacturing, processing and delivery systems which have now come to be accepted as best practice in the industry.

Chris and his team have developed systems based on the science of the industry and in recent years Arden has partnered with leading academic life science institutions to carry out ground breaking research into poultry disease control. This year Chris founded a new spin out company Arden Biotechnology Ltd to continue this research and to develop controls that are planned to soon benefit the UK and global poultry industry.

Chris Stanford
Managing Director
Arden Wood Shavings Ltd

Marian Dawkins

Professor of Animal Behaviour, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

Marian Dawkins is Professor of Animal Behaviour in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford and has a long record of working successfully with the poultry industry to improve health and welfare. She is the author of numerous research papers and her books include ‘Through Our Eyes Only? The Search for Animal Consciousness’ (1993), ‘Why Animals Matter: Animal Consciousness, Animal Welfare and Human Well-Being’ (2012) and with Aubrey Manning ‘An Introduction to Animal Behaviour’ (2012). She is now leading a team that is developing an on-farm system for assessing the welfare of broiler (meat) chickens by automatically processing CCTV images of flock behaviour.

Marian Dawkins
Professor of Animal Behaviour, Department of Zoology
University of Oxford

Dr. Martin Garland

Technical Director/Head of Functional Chemicals Research Centre

Dr. Martin Garland graduated with a First Class honours degree in Pharmacy from Queen’s University Belfast in 2007, and has been a registered pharmacist with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland since July 2008.

Martin joined Kilco in October 2011 as a Research & Development Chemist and has worked in a number of roles within the company during a period of exciting growth, which saw Kilco develop from a small family owned business to a more international enterprise. As a scientist and health professional, Martin believed that the enabling the future sustainable growth of the Agri-food industry represented a huge opportunity for product and service innovation to ensure high production rates through improved animal health, production and welfare management. As a result of his passion for conducting sector leading research of microbial control and disease prevention, Martin established the Functional Chemicals Research Centre within Kilco in 2017 to actively engage with research facilities and institutions who are involved in the development of science and regulation in the Agri-food sector. Working closely with these institutions will ensure Kilco has the knowledge to develop effective products whilst striving to implement more effective, quality assured protocols in our manufacturing processes.

Dr. Martin Garland
Technical Director/Head of Functional Chemicals Research Centre
Kilco

David Welchman

Senior Vice President, BVPA

David worked for many years for APHA and its forebears as a Veterinary Investigation Officer doing diagnostic veterinary work across all the livestock species including poultry and gamebirds. He has been a member of the APHA/SRUC Avian Expert Group since its inception in the 1990’s, and became full time Veterinary Lead of the Group in 2014, with responsibility within APHA for poultry disease surveillance. He became junior vice president of BVPA in 2013, followed by president in 2015 and is currently senior vice president. He served on the Local Organising Committee for the World Veterinary Poultry Association Congress in Edinburgh 2017. David has contributed many papers, articles and presentations on avian health matters and prepares the poultry part of the monthly APHA disease surveillance highlights report for the Veterinary Record and organises the Avian Science Day each year at APHA, Weybridge.

David Welchman
Senior Vice President
BVPA

Edward Diehl

Nutritionist and Commercial Trails Manager, Cobb Europe

Edward obtained his BSc degree in Veterinarian Medicine from the university of Ghent, followed by his BSc and MSc degree in animal science specialising in animal nutrition, adaptation physiology, and behavioural ecology from Wageningen University, Netherlands, in 2014.
In 2015, he joined Cobb Europe as Nutritionist and Commercial Trials Manager, covering the EMEA region and assisting internal production as a nutritionist. As commercial Trials Manager he is assisting customers conducting feed, breed, or yield trials, and is responsible for ensuring Cobb’s
internal research finds solutions for supporting customers in the region and worldwide together with the Technical Manager.

Edward Diehl
Nutritionist and Commercial Trials Manager
Cobb Europe

Maarten De Gussem

Global Poultry Consultant, Vetworks

Maarten De Gussem graduated as a DVM from University of Ghent Veterinary School in 2000 with a thesis on Infectious Bursal Disease Virus at the University of Arkansas, USA. Maarten began working in the field at DEGUDAP group practice in France, The Netherlands and Belgium, dealing with layers, breeders, broilers and turkeys. In 2001, Maarten joined the division of J&J Global Poultry Technical Manager at Janssen Animal Health, with focus on coccidiosis, gut health, helminthosis, histomonosis and red mite.

In 2009, Vetworks was founded by Maarten, servicing the poultry industry with a global team of specialists and providing support on poultry health topics all over the world, with focus on mycoplasmosis, general gut health and cocciciosis.

Maarten De Gussem is also author of Broiler Signals, a leading broiler management book in more than 12 languages. He is a scientific adviser at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University. And also member of scientific committees of Poultry Mycoplasma Conference and of IHSIG conference, focusing on poultry gut health.

Maarten De Gussem
Global Poultry Consultant
Vetworks

Mike Hunter

Global Technical Director, ApTech Group

Mike Hunter is Global Technical Director APTech Group, where he serves as the senior technical resource for APTech Group water treatment distributor and partners. In addition, Mike utilizes his more than 40 years of industry experience and water treatment background in order to support the industry in the UK via the Water Management Society.

Mike’s experience in the managing and ownership of water treatment companies in the UK and in the USA is of value to the WMSoc and he is currently a Director of the Water Management Society and has been a Council member for 12 years and is a past Chairman.

Mike is a passionate believer in the need to educate and train people within the industry in the absence of training being provided by their companies, and is actively promoting the training aspects of the society in the hope of benefiting the industry in the UK by providing the tools required to mange and control strategic decisions in a compliant, safe and effective way, and to maintain the standards expected of the society and its members.

Mike Hunter
Global Technical Director
APTech Group

Olivier Sparagano

Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Professor of Animal Health and Biotechnology at Coventry University

Professor Olivier Sparagano is currently the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Professor of Animal Health and Biotechnology at Coventry University (UK). He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and over 400 conference abstracts and his research work focuses on the diagnostic of animal diseases and vaccine production. He is the former President of the Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, Royal Society for Biology, HEA and STVM. He is currently the Chair of an EU COST Action (FA1404, COREMI) on the poultry pest Dermanyssus gallinae linking 28 countries and over 320 members.

Olivier Sparagano
Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Professor of Animal Health and Biotechnology at Coventry University

Wesley Torne

Key Account Manager, MSD Animal Healt

Wesley was born into agriculture, on a traditional mixed family farm in Bedfordshire, going on to study and graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture with Land and Farm Management at Harper Adams University.

Specialising in poultry subjects led onto over 15 years’ experience in commercial egg production with Deans Foods (now Noble Foods) and Stonegate/Thames Valley Foods, where he developed a broad experience in feed milling, pullet rearing and egg production from conventional cages, colony, free range and organic production systems.

Since joining the MSD poultry team in early 2014 his passion for all things feathered continues to fly and he enjoys engaging and supporting customers across the poultry industry. Roles in his MSD career have been Senior Product Manager, Marketing Manager for Pigs, Poultry and Aquaculture and now is a Key Account Manager for Poultry.
Most recently, his focus has been on the launch of Exzolt, the redmite treatment via. the drinking water, supporting customers around aspects of mite population monitoring, administration of product and bio-security audits.

In his spare time Wesley enjoys spending time with the family, fishing and running. Earlier this year he completed his first (and likely to be only!) Marathon.

Wesley Torne
Key Account Manager, MSD Animal Health

Máire Burnett

Technical Director, British Poultry Council (BPC)

Máire Burnett is the Technical Director at the British Poultry Council (BPC). She joined the BPC as Executive Officer for Agriculture in 2000. She leads on the trade association’s work on avian influenza, antibiotic stewardship, animal health and welfare, environmental management, and international trade policy.

Máire is passionate about the sector’s drive for excellence in bird health and welfare, she sits on a number of Government stakeholder groups including exotic disease contingency planning, Animal Health Regulation core group, Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) Sector Council and plays a key role in the Export Certification Users Group. Máire is also a member of the Poultry Health & Welfare Group.

Máire represents the British poultry meat industry on international forums such as the Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in the EU (AVEC) and is part of the working groups on animal health and welfare and trade.

Máire has previously worked for the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council at their European office in Hamburg, Germany.

Máire Burnett
Technical Director, British Poultry Council (BPC)

Ruud Zanders

Lecturer and entrepreneur

Ruud Zanders grew up on a Poultry Farm and studied economics at Wageningen University. He had his own largescale poultry farms. A personal crisis led him to change his thinking. Since 2008, he has focussed on sustainable, relatively small scale, ecological and higher welfare animal production.

His latest project, together with 3 partners, is Kipster: a revolutionary poultry farm that will produce higher welfare eggs and meat. There will be no use of fossil fuels and minimal pressure on the environment. Kipster aims to be an example for the role of animals in a worldwide, sustainable food system.

Wesley Torne
Key Account Manager, MSD Animal Health

Ionie-Lee Smallwood

Kilco/kersia Group

I joined Kilco/Kersia Group at the beginning of November 2018. In July 2016 I completed a Masters in Poultry Science attained via the distance learning program at the Scottish Rural University College through the Ayr-Edinburgh campus’. The thesis topic investigated efficacies of a saccharomyces cerevisiae product on live weight gain in pullets across multiple rearing systems (cage vs floor).

Recently I returned from two years overseas in Australia. During which time, I was employed as a Research Scientist at the University of New England in the field of Zoological Science with particular focus on Avian Science. The research project under my management was an investigation of vocalization frequency, population density and reproductive fecundity of two species of native Australian quail across multiple geographical research sites across the State of New South Wales; Stubble quail (Coturnix pectoralis) and Brown quail (Coturnix ypsilophora).

Upon returning to the UK, I sought to obtain experience in the auditing sector of the industry and spent the past six months in the Technical Department at the Ballymena Processing Plant of Moy Park, auditing across all processes of the factory and abattoir. My primary interests in poultry are health, welfare and nutrition.

Ionie-Lee Smallwood
Kilco/Kersia Group

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