Officers of the British Veterinary Poultry Association

Here is the current executive committee


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.

Senior Vice President

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.

Junior Vice President

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.

Since the sale of Minster Vets to VetPartners Mike has changed course and is now a clinical associate professor in poultry medicine and agribusiness at Nottingham Vet School and an avian adviser at Boehringer Ingelheim.


Dr Charlotte Commins
Dr Charlotte Commins

Charlotte graduated from RVC in 2014, with a keen interest in poultry. Upon qualifying she immediately joined the Slate Hall Group. She undertook, (and thoroughly enjoyed) their internship programme, and has now become their youngest ever Senior Associate.

She is especially interested in broilers, broiler breeders and commercial layers, and has been involved in several research projects during her time working within the practice. Charlotte is keen to promote knowledge of poultry across the veterinary sector, and has spent the last two years working as the BVPA representative on BVA council, ensuring that the poultry vet voice is heard.

She is now taking on the role of Treasurer within the committee, and is looking forward to a more active role in ensuring financial aid is available for both future poultry research, and members seeking help to continue their professional development; as well as choosing the wine for BVPA dinners!


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 and following graduation in 2013, Emma began work there, focusing 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 is now enjoying herself immensely as an Associate Veterinarian at Crowshall Veterinary Services, where she works with all manner of poultry! 

Emma is also studying part-time for a PhD exploring the epidemiology of histomonosis (blackhead) in the UK poultry industry. This is a topic she is passionate 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.