The Cattle Vet, a new, independent veterinary practice focused on cattle, has launched in West Wales.
Based in Carmarthen, Newcastle Emlyn and Cardigan, the practice is led by two highly experienced, cattle-focused vets – Richard Cumming and Lies Beekhuis. Richard’s career choice was driven by his own experience of growing up in the farming community of West Wales; his family’s farm, with pedigree Simmental cattle, is based close to Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthen. Richard qualified in 2016 and has been working in West Wales ever since.
“My mother has reared cattle since I was a young child and we now show pedigree cattle as well,” he says. “Growing up I remember scenarios where things were going wrong, and my mum was very stressed and then we’d call the vet and suddenly it would all be sorted. For me, the vet was always the person who turned up and fixed the problems – and I decided that was what I wanted to do. Now as a vet I realise we can go one step further and try to prevent these scenarios from happening.”
Originally from The Netherlands, Lies Beekhuis qualified in 2006 from Utrecht University and has worked in practice and taught vet students in Carmarthenshire since 2010. She is a European and RCVS specialist in cattle and the partner of a dairy farmer who farms at Gilwen farm in Newcastle Emlyn.
“Lies has been a mentor to me and as is a vital part of the business,” says Richard. “Being a specialist she’s able to train vets and farmers, and offers a very high level of service to address more complicated situations. Her specialist status helps to maintain us at the forefront of veterinary medicine.”
Richard and Lies mainly focus on cattle but are happy to service all livestock on farm. They chose to specialise in cattle because of their extensive experience in this area and a desire to create a practice that excels in one specific area.
The practice covers all aspects of veterinary work including pregnancy diagnosis, sick cows, emergency work and TB testing. Lies and Richard understand that preventative medicine is essential for farmer’s survival, so they can provide support by helping to improve the overall health of the herd.
“By clinically examining groups of animals, and analysing data weak points can be identified,” says Lies. “Data recording and collection are essential in this.”
The aim of The Cattle Vet is to provide outstanding support and expertise for cattle farmers in West Wales.
“We’re focused on being the best we can at cattle, working at the forefront of the cattle industry and anything dairy and beef related rather than trying to spread ourselves thinly across all farm enterprises,” says Lies. “We want to work with forward thinking farmers and support our industry in this changing and evolving market.”