Officers of the British Veterinary Poultry Association

Here is the current executive committee


Richard Irvine
Richard Irvine

Richard Irvine is the Head of Veterinary Surveillance in poultry, livestock and wildlife at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). He graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the Royal Veterinary College in 1997, and then worked in mixed, predominantly farm animal practice for four years before joining the former VLA during 2001, working as a Veterinary Investigation Officer at one of the Regional Laboratories. In February 2007 he was appointed as the Deputy Head of the Avian Virology and Mammalian Influenza Group at the EU/OIE/FAO International Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza & Newcastle disease, APHA Weybridge. He also led the AHVLA/SRUC Avian Expert Group from 2010 to 2014 and the national surveillance projects for avian influenza in poultry and wild birds in Great Britain from 2007 to 2015.

In November 2013 he was appointed as the Head of the National Reference Laboratory (UK) for Viral Diseases of Poultry at APHA Weybridge, before moving to his current role in November 2014. He now leads the veterinary scanning surveillance programme in poultry, livestock and wildlife in England and Wales. Richard is a member of several government and industry working groups and committees relating to poultry and livestock health and welfare, an invited lecturer on poultry diseases, a Diplomate of the European College of Poultry Veterinary Science, a member of The Houghton Trust and Junior Vice President of the British Veterinary Poultry Association.

Senior Vice President

Philip Hammond
Philip Hammond

At 16 years old Philip worked in a commercial broiler hatchery part time whilst undertaking his A Levels so got first hand exposure to the poultry industry. Philip then studied at the Royal Veterinary College in London for 5 years to become a veterinarian in 2003. During his undergraduate years Philip undertook research on behalf of a primary breeding company into Mycoplasma diagnostics, and in 2003 developed a new PCR test for diagnosing and strain identifying Mycoplasma synoviae infections in poultry which he later published.

Upon qualifying Philip took a position with a leading UK 100% dedicated poultry practice and laboratory- Crowshall Veterinary Services in Norfolk, working along side Stephen Lister and Claire Knott. The practice provides service to the UK and international poultry industry. Philip quickly gained experience working with broilers, broiler breeders, turkeys, ducks, geese, laying hens and gamebirds. The practice also deals with primary breeders, free range, organic and conventional systems. In 2008 Philip became a partner at Crowshall Veterinary Services which now boasts a 7 strong vet team and UKAS accredited laboratory. Philip is also a member of the Houghton trust.

In 2009, Philip undertook a Post Graduate Certificate in Avian Health (University of Melbourne) which he completed with Honours, this was quickly followed by a Masters Degree in Avian Health (University of Melbourne/University of Georgia (US)). In 2013 Philip received the WVPA Young Poultry Veterinarian of the Year award, and in the same year the UK EPIC Young Poultry Person Year Award.

Philip is the WVPA UK branch secretary, and in 2013 took the BVPA team to Nantes to successfully win the bid to hold WVPA Congress 2017 in Edinburgh. Philip was the Chairman of the WVPA Congress 2017 local organising committee. Philip is also the Norfolk Chicken Association Chairman. Philip served as President of the BVPA from 2017-2019.

Junior Vice President

Richard Jackson
Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson was born in Ireland and spent his spare time working on his father’s commercial turkey farm. He developed a keen interest in poultry and begun to take an interest in breeding and showing rare breeds of chickens. Ultimately this culminated in the purchase of an incubator and educating himself about the problems of incubation and chick rearing.

Subsequently he developed a desire to become a poultry vet. Richard spent five years at Glasgow University and graduated on the 28th of June. The following week he headed to Exeter to work as part of St David’s Poultry Team.

Richard currently spends a large part of his time caring for broiler birds within the poultry industry and has developed key expertise in reviewing bio-security, hygiene, management and vaccination on clients’ farms. He has become an important member of The Chicken Vet team, developing new ideas, writing veterinary articles and playing a major role in the CPD training courses.

Richard became Clinical Director of St David’s Poultry Team in 2014.


Michael Clark
Michael Clark

Michael Clark graduated from University of Cambridge in 1992. He worked in mixed practice in the Cotswolds for 4 years before moving to Minster Veterinary Practice. By 2000 he had migrated from mixed practice to 100% poultry and gamebird work.

At that time he also became a partner in the business and was instrumental in setting up Minster’s Hereford poultry office. With the establishment of the Minster Sutton Bonington office in 2006 Mike became an honorary associate professor of poultry medicine at the adjacent Nottingham Vet School.

Having relocated to Nottingham Mike completed an MBA at Nottingham Business School. From 2014 to 2017 Mike served on the Animal Health and Welfare Board of England. He is currently a member of the Poultry Veterinary Study Group of the EU, the Poultry Disease Group and Chairman of the East Midlands Poultry Discussion Group.

After the sale of Minster Vets to Origin Mike has changed course and is now the poultry veterinary adviser for Boehringer Ingelheim.


Emma Youngs
Emma Youngs

Emma fell in love with the poultry industry whilst studying veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge, after doing a work experience placement with Slate Hall Veterinary Practice.

She undertook a research project into the haematological and biochemical parameters of broiler blood samples during her final two years at university then, following graduation in 2013, Emma began work with Slate Hall Veterinary Practice as an intern.

In 2014 she became a Junior Associate, and moved to the Cambridgeshire office where her work mainly focused on broiler and broiler breeder health and disease. Late in 2015 Emma moved to become Technical and Marketing Manger for Poultry with Hipra UK & Ireland, which gave her an opportunity to see different types of production challenges across the country and overseas, and to design and implement projects to optimise vaccination on farm. She particularly enjoyed getting more involved in the layer industry and also joined the organising committees for both the East Midlands and Wales & West Poultry Discussion Groups.

After 2 years with Hipra, Emma felt the call of clinical practice once more and took up a position of Associate at Slate Hall Veterinary Practice. She is also studying part-time for a PhD exploring the epidemiology of histomonosis (blackhead) in the UK poultry industry. This is a topic she feels passionately about, and is proud to have received funding from the turkey R&D sub-committee of the BPC to enable her research.

Programme Secretary

Kannan Ganapathy
Kannan Ganapathy

Dr Ganapathy is a lecturer in infectious diseases (poultry) at the University of Liverpool. He is engaged with research, teaching, poultry consultations and CPDs, mostly on molecular immunopathogenesis, diagnosis, control and prevention of poultry infectious respiratory diseases. His research focuses on avian respiratory pathogens and vaccines, especially on infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and avian metapneumovirus (aMPV).

He has studied the interactions between live viral vaccines of IBV, aMPV and Newcastle disease virus (NDV), the influence infectious bursa disease virus vaccines on the bursa of Fabricius and its impact on live IBV vaccine-take. The other research activity is to improve diagnosis of respiratory pathogens by conventional and molecular methods, including the use of PCR and sequencing (eg. aMPV subtyping or IBV genotyping). Dr Ganapathy's group have validated a PCR system for detection of multiple respiratory pathogens from RNA/DNA extracted from FTA cards.

He also has years of experience in research, diagnosis, control and prevention of avian mycoplasmas, in particular Mycoplasma gallisepticum (Mg) and Mycoplasma synoviae (Ms).

Public Relations Officer

John Tasker
John Tasker

John studied agriculture at Reading University, followed by a year at the IRAD Compton, and went on the study veterinary medicine at the Royal Vet College, graduating in 1976. He then spent 6 years in farm animal practice followed by a stint in New Zealand with a small Scottish animal health company where he was responsible for all matters technical, including sheep farming.

On his return to UK in 1995 he continued working in industry and is currently development director with ECO Animal Health Ltd. He completed the Compton Poultry Health course in 2001 and has since spent much time developing pharmaceutical products for the poultry and gamebird industries.

John has many years experience in the international pharmaceutical industry, particularly in areas of antibiotic development and regulation. When not working John enjoys old cars and slow boats.

John is now Public Relations officer with the Association.