Representation and Education

BCVA Masterclass - Cow Behaviour and Human Interactions with Neil Chesterton and Owen Atkinson

Tutors: Neil Chesterton, BVSc, V.E.T. Services Ltd, New Zealand and Owen Atkinson, RCVS Specialist in Cattle Health and Production, Dairy Veterinary Consultancy Ltd

Neil graduated from Sydney University (Australia) in 1974 and went straight to Inglewood Vets in New Zealand, where he spent over 40 years in clinical practice. He is well known for his work in the prevention of lameness, particularly in pasture fed dairy herds.
Neil has conducted world-renowned clinical research on the importance of herd management for lameness reduction, in particular how human behaviour influences cow behaviour. The concepts of “cow flow” and “low stress dairies” originate with Neil’s work, such that they are adopted throughout dairy farms worldwide.
Amongst numerous honours received during his career, the 2013 “Golden Glove” award from the Dairy Cattle Vets Association of New Zealand for outstanding contributions to his field) is one which stands out. He continues his research, presenting results at international conferences and remains a consultant to the Healthy Hoof Programme of DairyNZ.
Neil’s expertise in bovine lameness and providing training on low-stress cow management is in high demand throughout New Zealand and internationally. The BCVA is very fortunate to benefit from this opportunity to team with Neil for its Masterclass of 2017.

Owen graduated from Liverpool University in 1994 and spent 20 years in clinical practice, latterly as a director of Lambert, Leonard and May in Cheshire, before establishing Dairy Veterinary Consultancy Ltd in 2013. He specialises in bespoke training and advice for vets, farmers and others in the dairy sector. As well as being an experienced dairy vet, he is a CowSignals Master trainer.

Owen and Neil have previously worked together over many years, in particular during the development of the AHDB Healthy Feet Programme and the DairyNZ Healthy Hoof Programme.
Owen joins with Neil to facilitate this year’s Masterclass bringing not only his CowSignals knowledge but his own clinical research of time budgets and behaviour of housed cows.

What this course will deliver:

  • mix of class-room and on-farm discussion-based learning (two farm visits)
  • an understanding of normal and abnormal cow behaviour
  • how to assess cow behaviour objectively
  • time budgets; cow flow; human behaviour; cow interactions with their housing and environment
  • how all the above influences cow health, welfare, lameness, production and work efficiency
  • comprehensive notes; high quality slides and videos on USB stick

What this course will enable you to do:

  • troubleshooting skills: e.g. poor cow flow during milking; poor milk let-down; high incidence of white line disease
  • design handling facilities and adapt protocols for the benefit of staff and cows
  • practical ways to incorporate all findings into your own work: spot things you weren’t previously aware of and understand the “why”
  • practical ways to teach stockmanship skills to your own clients
  • share your enthusiasm with colleagues back at the practice, using videos and slides provided

BCVA Masterclass CPD is aimed at experienced clinicians wishing to gain greater insights from class-leading researchers and cattle vets which can be applied on farm and in their work. Previous Masterclasses have proved very popular, so early booking is advised.

Feedback from last year’s Masterclass course:

“Combination of facilitated learning, chalk and talk, group chat and farm walks was fantastic. 10/10 course” - Peter Orpin, The Park Vet Group

“Excellent breadth of information; good level of discussion with other experienced vets” - Sally Wilson, Evolution Farm Vets

Endorsement of Neil Chesterton:

“After two thoroughly excellent hours on farm with Neil, I can honestly say I use things I learned from him every single day in my daily work” - Dan Stevenson, Lambert Leonard and May Farm Vets

16th Aug 2017 - 17th Aug 2017
Reaseheath College

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