Mr Iain Richards


Candidate 9 of 10


Iain Richards Proposers

Jane King, Bob Partridge


Address and contact details

Whinfell, Woodhouse Lane, Heversham, Cumbria LA7 7EW

M 07824 349270



Candidate biography

I was not the most studious of people getting into vet school by dogged persistence and was very grateful for those who gave me the chance. Since then, I have had a varied clinical and political career as follows:

Qualified: Liverpool 1988

Post Graduate: CertVA (1992) CertSHP (2008) MVetSci (2016)

Employment:    1989 - 1992 Assistant Mixed practice
                       1993 - 1995 Associate Small Animal & Equine
                       1996 - 2002 Sole owner 5 vet mixed practice,
                       expanding to 11 vet (Westmorland Veterinary Group)
                       2002 - 2010 Partner, then director of above
                       2011 - present, house-husband and locum (including
                       single handed practice in Mull, and clinical director
                       St. Kitt's Veterinary University Hospital)
                       2010 - 2013 Director XLVets UK Ltd, with responsibility for business

Clinical Interests: Sheep, Anaesthesia, Parasitology, Ecological
                          Epidemiology and ecological disease control

Non-Clinical: Managing practice for all to enjoy, mentoring recent
                   graduates (I've helped run the Lancaster Final Year
                   Seminar since 1999)

Vet Politics: BVA Council for Lakeland Division 2000 - 2010
                  SPVS Council 2000 - 2012 (President 2010/11)
                  SVS Council Current President

Vet Memberships: BVA, SVS, SPVS, VDS (deer)

Not-vet Organisations: RSPB, RBST, GWCT, BASC, BDS

Candidate manifesto 

I am standing for council for two reasons. Firstly, to add my voice to existing councillors who will speak out to hold the actions of the college to account on matters that affect all vets in practice. For while the college has to act in an impartial manner favouring neither vets, nor the public, I am increasingly concerned that the college seems to have forgotten that client confidence and animal welfare arise primarily from the work of vets in practices. Aspects such as the college's apparent desire for a Veterinary Services Act, seem to be more about consumer choice than maintaining standards. In what is already a competitive area, deregulation of any form can threaten the viability of practice. For a viable practice is more likely to be a pleasant place to work in, more likely to have time to mentor young vets, and more likely to be able to fund meaningful CPD. So while maintaining the integrity of the profession is a key function of councillors, it is the integrity of practice that I will support if elected.

Secondly, while the college has make excellent progress with some of its initiatives such as supporting better mental health, many vets still fear the role the college plays in their lives and others resent the apparent interference with areas such as logging and reflecting on CPD. Vets as a group like to do well and to learn to perform better. I feel therefore that the college needs to be more encouraging in its approach and less proscriptive.

I can bring to council a wide range of experience of practice and the wider profession as well as desire to simply make practising vets' lives better. I hope I can count on your support.

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