About the British Veterinary Zoological Society

About the Society


The British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) is the specialist division of the British Veterinary Association  and is recognised as having responsibility for exotic pets, companion avian species, zoo animals and wildlife. We were founded in 1961 and have grown into a society with a wide range of members and involvement

The aims of the Society are to promote the advancement of veterinary knowledge and skill in the maintenance of the health and welfare of non-domesticated animals and to encourage proper housing and conditions for such animals; to encourage full use of veterinary services by wild animal establishments and by the owners of exotic animals; to promote the international exchange of veterinary knowledge of non-domesticated animals.


The british veterinary zoological society is run by volunteers. These volunteers are voted onto a council by the membership at the annual general meeting held at the conference. Here we will introduce you to the members of the council and tell you more about them and what they do.


Senior Vice President

Junior Vice President

Peter Kettlewell


I have been a partner of Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital for over 20 years which until last year was a mixed rural practice. We are now a small animal, exotic and zoo practice who look after the routine exotic pet needs of north Oxfordshire as well as the animals of two small/medium zoo collections, two mixed bird collections and Europe’s (until we left the EU) largest crocodilian zoo.
I have been on BVZS council for a number of years and have previously been involved in organising of the annual conference. I am now very proud to be the president of BVZS for 2020
Also contributes to:
Meetings Committee
BVA Representative

Fieke Molenaar
DVM MSc GPCertExAP DZooMed(Mammalian) MRCVS
RCVS recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

Fieke has been the BVZS Meetings Organiser from 2008-2015, after which she joined the BVZS Officers Team. She is the current Senior Vice President. Fieke is a full time senior zoo veterinarian, holds an MSc in Wild Animal Health and the RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine. She is an RCVS recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, with a special interest in ungulates, tuberculosis and EEHV.

Liz Mullineaux
RCVS Recognised Specialist in Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian)

Liz worked in mixed practice, overseas and in the UK, before settling in Somerset as a director of a small animal veterinary hospital for 17 years. Having developed an interesting in British wildlife, in 2011 she completed a clinical doctorate investigating the factors influencing badger rehabilitation and release. She now works as Scientific Advisor to Secret World Wildlife Rescue (a wildlife charity specializing in badger rehabilitation), alongside small animal emergency medicine and academic part-time roles. Her main interest is the appropriate clinical care of British wildlife casualties. she is co-editor of the BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties and author of several other publications on wildlife medicine.

Administrator and Membership Secretary

Honorary Secretary


Victoria Roberts


Victoria qualified from Liverpool in 2000, but has had over 40 years of breeding and judging exhibition poultry and waterfowl. She was honorary avian (and small furry) lecturer at Liverpool Vet School for 15 years, edited the British Poultry Standards, had a column in Country Smallholding for 18 years, is a Past President of the British Veterinary Zoological Society and currently their Administrator. Victoria has several books on poultry in print and her website is www.vicvet.com . She keeps too many pure breed chickens and locums as a small animal vet in her spare time.


Michael Fielding

Formerly Veterinary Surgeon to Blackpool Zoological Gardens. Past President of BVZS, Past president of EAZWV. Current advisory Board member EAZWV. Hon Member BVZS. Hon Member EAZWV. Chairman The ZEBRA Foundation for Zoological Veterinary Education..


Caroline Johnson


Caroline graduated from Liverpool University in 2002 and started work in mixed practice.  After undertaking a Masters in Wild Animal Health in 2006 at the Royal Veterinary College and Zoological Society of London. Following her Masters she moved into exotics practice and concentrated on pet exotics.  In 2019 she moved to an independent practice in Cheshire to help develop their exotics department.  She has an interest in rabbits and small mammals and reptiles, especially the provision of UV lighting. Caroline has been a member of BVZS since her student days and has been Treasurer since 2014.



Public Relations Officer

Meetings Organiser

Meetings Committee

Sarah Pellett Meetings Organiser

Heather Bacon
BSc (Hons) BVSc CertZooMed MRCVS

Heather is the Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach manager at the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education at the University of Edinburgh. She is responsible for developing and coordinating the overseas veterinary training initiatives of the Centre. She organises postgraduate MSc courses and also teaches veterinary students at the University of Edinburgh in animal welfare behaviour and veterinary ethics. Additionally, she works with NGOs, veterinary, and political organisations to develop veterinary educational initiatives around the world. Previously, she has lived in China working as the Veterinary Director at the Animals Asia Foundation, an NGO working to end the trade in bear bile across Asia. Heather graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, and the University of Liverpool with a degree in Conservation medicine. Heather’s research interests include the influence of culture and geography on attitudes to animal welfare, zoo animal welfare assessment and human-animal interactions.

Sarah Pellet
VetMB CertAVP(ZooMed) BA BSc(Hons) DZooMed
RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

Sarah graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2006. She has worked in first opinion and referral exotics practices and has completed the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Zoological Medicine). In 2016 she gained the RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine and in 2017 became an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. Sarah is a vet advisor for the BIAZA Terrestrial Invertebrate Working Group. She works at Animates Veterinary Clinic Ltd, in Thurlby, Lincolnshire, seeing a wide range of first opinion and referral exotic animal cases.

Michelle O’Brien
BVetmed CertZooMed DipECZM (ZHM) MRCVS


Michelle O’Brien is the Veterinary and Wildlife Health Officer for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) based at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. After graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in 1999 she spent six and a half years in general practice, seeing a mix of small animal and exotic species. She gained the RCVS certificate in Zoological Medicine in 2005 and the ECZM Diploma in Zoo Health Management in 2017. Michelle has worked at WWT since 2006 and has responsibility for overall veterinary care at seven of the ten WWT centres in the UK and provides veterinary advice to a number of conservation programmes including the Great Crane Project, Eurasian curlew recovery project and Spoon-billed sandpiper conservation breeding programme.




Meetings Committee

Social Media


Sarah Jayne Smith

Sarah Jayne is a veterinarian at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire. She graduated from The Royal Veterinary College in 2012 and also has a degree in Veterinary Conservation Medicine from University of Liverpool. After graduating she worked in small animal and exotics practice throughout Devon, UK and New South Wales, Australia before settling at Marwell in early 2016. She is currently studying for her Cert AVP (Zoological Medicine). She has been a member of BVZS since 2006 and have been on BVZS council (in various roles) since 2015. She is currently the sponsor co-coordinator and represents BVZS and BVA on BIAZA council. She is also a member of the meetings committee, helping to construct the zoological medicine stream.

Natalie Wissink
LicVet CertAVP(ZooMed) DZooMed(Reptilian) MRCVS
RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

Nathalie graduated from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain) in 2004. After seeing practice in several exotic/wildlife practices and zoos around the world, she completed a one-year rotating internship at Davies Veterinary Specialists. Nathalie started working at The Scott Veterinary Clinic in 2006, where she is now the Head of the exotic and zoo medicine department. In 2010 she passed her RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Zoological Medicine). In 2016 she obtained the RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine with a Reptilian specialty and is also an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. Her main focus is in exotic pets but she is also the head veterinarian for Woburn Safari Park and several smaller zoological collections


Bev Panto
BVetMed BSc (Hons) CertAVP(ZooMed) PGCert (VetEd) FHEA MRCVS
RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine

Bev graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2009 with an intercalated degree in Veterinary Conservation Medicine. After a year working in East Africa and teaching at the RVC, she worked as a small animal, wildlife and exotics general practitioner for three years. In 2013 she became the Veterinary Officer at RSPCA Stapeley Grange, treating a wide range of British wildlife and domestic species and is also the Veterinary Advisor to South Cheshire Ferret Rescue. She is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Liverpool, and runs their final year exotics and wildlife clinical rotationand elective. She holds the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Zoological Medicine. She also works as the vet for Drayton Manor Zoo and runs a number of exotics and wildlife CPD and training courses for vets and nurses as well as being the CEO for the online veterinary education resource, WikiVet, and Veterinary Consultant for the wildlife charity, Wildlife Aid Foundation.


PMLG Representative

VN Representative

Veterinary Schools Liaison

Andrew Routh


Andrew Routh is Head of Veterinary Services for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, based at the Jersey Zoo.

In over 25 years in full-time zoo, wildlife and conservation medicine, he has worked in zoological collections in the USA, Hong Kong and the UK. Programme work with numerous species has included corncrake reintroduction in the UK, Gyps vultures in Asia and in Madagascar with the ploughshare tortoise and Madagascan pochard.

He has run workshops for veterinary and conservation colleagues in India, Nepal, Mauritius and the UAE and has worked, as a consultant/ volunteer, with orangutans in Kalimantan, bears in Thailand and chimpanzees in Sierra Leone.

In addition to being on BVZS Council, he has been a member of the BVA Overseas Group and an external member of committees of the British Trust for Ornithology and the RSPB.

Andrew has authored over 40 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. He has lectured to veterinary students in UK veterinary schools as well as at universities in the USA, India and Thailand

Donna Brown


Donna qualified from Bicton College in 1998 whilst working in North Devon at a mixed animal practice. She moved to Scotland in 1999 to work at the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies, Small Animal Hospital eventually going on to concentrate in exotic animal nursing. She gained her City and Guilds in Exotics in 2001. After leaving the RDSVS in 2007 she joined Edinburgh Zoo as the veterinary nurse. Her work includes the routine in-house laboratory testing of the many animals within the society, now made possible by the Society’s investment in their own blood analyser and faecal-analysis equipment. Donna has been fortunate enough to travel to Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone with the RZSS. Donna has been involved with lecturing both qualified and trainee veterinary nurses on exotic animal nursing and has contributed to several chapters in veterinary textbooks published by the BSAVA. 

Lindsay Thomas

Lindsay graduated in 2014 with a BVSc from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Conservation Science from the University of Liverpool. She spent two years in small animal and exotics practice in Birmingham before moving to Montgomery Vets in Kent in 2016. Lindsay has been the BVZS Student Liaison Representative since 2017 on BVZS Council and completed the RCVS CertAVP in Zoological Medicine in March 2019.


Council Member

Council Member

Benjamin option 1

Benjamin Kennedy

Benjamin has been a member of the BVZS since being a vet student. He is currently an recent graduate pursing exotic and general practice around buckingham. He has a keen interest in invertebrate medicine and is part of the steering committe of the the veterinary invertebrate society.
Benjamin has recently joined the council of the BVZS and helps run the digital aspects of the soceity, including producing content for the website, and acting as the webmaster for the website

Stuart Patterson

Stuart is a lecturer in wild animal health and the course director for our Masters programmes in Wild Animal Health and Biology. as well as being the pathway leader for the MSci in Wild Animal Biology. His main interests are in the relevance of disease processes to conservation, and how this changes as existing populations become more fragmented.

Sergio Silvetti

Sergio graduated in October 1999 from the University of Milan. He then worked in exotic animal practice in Italy for 10 years. Sergio moved to the UK in 2010 and worked in several first opinion and exotic referral practices. He is currently employed at Manor Vets in Birmingham as Head of the Department of Medicine and Surgery of Exotic Animals. He has lectured at national and international conferences (SCIVAC, BVZS, RWAF) and is co-author of the chapter of Orthopaedics in the BSAVA Manual of Back Yard Poultry

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