Livestock and Climate Change - A Veterinary Perspective 

    Access to course materials for 12 months
     15 hours

     Online course


By the end of the course the learner will be able to: 

  1. understand the role of veterinary professionals in driving sustainability, through our own operations and in the sectors we influence, including agriculture.
  2. summarise the key environmental impacts that are associated with animal agriculture.
  3. understand the different metrics currently used to measure carbon emissions and how the use of these metrics may present challenges.
  4. have a broad understanding of nutrition in housed systems and to have a working knowledge of how some of these systems may affect the environment at a production level.
  5. understand how feeding for improved growth rates may have trade-offs in terms of animal health and welfare. 
  6. demonstrate how the principles of behavioural change may be applied in an on-farm situation.
  7. understand emission production in healthy animals, and how this may change in a state of disease.
  8. understand how grazed systems may be used to pursue sustainability goals and how they may impact animal health and welfare.  
  9. demonstrate how the principles of behavioural change may be applied in an on-farm situation.
  10. understand the role of veterinary businesses in supporting the sustainability agenda, and how a team may transition towards more sustainable and regenerative practices.

Learning objectives

This online course is designed to equip farm veterinary professionals with knowledge on some of the key issues of our time – climate change and animal health and welfare, and leverage our unique role as trusted advisors to the food and farming businesses around the world on which we all depend. 

For those working in farming communities, the growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions from food production is palpable. 

As pressure grows, consumer demands shift and government regulations are enacted – and in response, farmers are pursuing ambitious climate and sustainability goals, leveraging their unique positions as stewards of the land. But this work needs to be enacted more widely and expedited, and veterinary professionals are ideally placed to assist. 


Laura Higham - BVM&S MSc MRCVS 

Laura is a Director of Vet Sustain with 10 years’ experience as a veterinary consultant in sustainable livestock production at the Food Animal Initiative (FAI), working alongside food businesses to drive sustainability in commercial supply chains, with a focus on animal welfare and responsible antibiotic use. Having previously worked in the charity sector supporting animal-based livelihoods in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, she has a deep interest in the intersect between international development and animal health and welfare, and the wider roles of vets in society. Laura is currently conducting research into veterinary roles in sustainability and reconciling multiple sustainability objectives in food animal production, in contribution to her PhD at The Global Academy for Agriculture and Food Systems at Edinburgh University. She is also an Earth Fellow in regenerative agriculture at the Edinburgh Earth Initiative.

Sarah Krumrie - BSc BVMS MRCVS MVM 

Sarah is a veterinary public health specialist currently working as a lecturer at the University of Glasgow. She obtained a degree in microbiology and chemistry in the United States before working as a veterinary receptionist/technician, where her desire to go into clinical practice faded. She decided to continue to veterinary school at the University of Glasgow, where she discovered a passion for public health. This led to a dual masters/residency program at Glasgow, where her involvement with students and mental health in the veterinary profession grew. Sarah was a finalist in the British Veterinary Association’s Young Vet of the Year 2021 competition for her efforts to improve mental health starting at the university level. She currently lectures to veterinary students on sustainability, meat science and residues, while teaching final year students about the public health aspects of slaughterhouses and infectious disease.

Hannah Kenway - BSc (hons) BVSc MRCVS 

Hannah  is a production animal veterinary surgeon working in the South of England. After a degree in zoology, Hannah worked in marine conservation in Bermuda before graduating from Bristol Veterinary School in 1993. Since then she has worked for a number of farm animal practices in the UK and abroad and is currently the clinical farm lead for The Carisbrooke Vets on the Isle of Wight. She completed the two year Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) sheep expertise program in 2018 and currently divides her time between clinical practice, consultancy and writing for the veterinary press. With a special interest in proactive health planning and the relationship between farming practices and the environment, Hannah completed the Vet Sustain and VetSalus online 

Course facilitators

Lewis Griffiths - BVMS MBA MRCVS 

Lewis graduated from Glasgow University in 1978 and initially returned to his native west Wales to work in mixed, predominantly dairy practice. Having emigrated from Wales to New Zealand in 1990, he formed Riverside Veterinary Services in Ashburton and supervised the rapid growth of this practice into one of the largest in New Zealand at the time. Veterinary business management and governance has been a passion of Lewis’s for many years; he formed Hadron Consulting in 2003 to provide a range of services to veterinary practices and allied organisations. He also served for several years as a board member of the New Zealand Veterinary Association, including two terms as President, as well as chairing VetLearn, the NZVA’s CPD business and project managing the organisational restructure. In recent years, Lewis has developed a growing interest in climate change and sustainable agriculture and this has led to his role with VetSalus. Lewis is convinced that the veterinary profession has a major contribution to make in the “race to zero”.

Emma Stuart - BSc BVM&S MRCVS 

Emma graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 and spent some time working in New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland before settling in Cumbria in 2016. She now works as a farm animal veterinary surgeon at Paragon Vets in Cumbria, UK, but previously spent time working as a consultant for Promar International gaining an understanding of the factors that drive productivity and profitability on-farm. Emma is working towards a Masters degree in Ruminant Nutrition, with a particular interest in feeding strategies to mitigate emissions and environmental pollution. She also works for the Advanced Breeding sector at Paragon Vets, using reproductive technologies such as in vitro production (IVP) to accelerate genetic progress in both dairy and beef herds. She is currently involved in an Innovate-Funded project looking at how IVP can be used to help breed more methane-efficient cattle.

Rune Friis Kristensen - BA MSc 

Rune is CEO in Dyrlæger & Ko, Executive Officer in VetSalus and Advisor to the Danish Technological Institute on bio-economic resources. Coming from a family of feed mill managers, the feed industry was the ideal way to enter the agricultural sector after finalizing his degree in International Negotiation and Arabic at the University of Southern Denmark. Has since 2021 been part of the Animal Nutrition Programme at University of Glasgow and has spent a lot of time on feed/farming politics in both his current and previous jobs. Before joining the vets, Rune was leading the Global Feed activities at the Danish co-op KMC. In his spare time, Rune tries hard to manage life with horses on a small farm just outside Aarhus in Denmark.

Andrew Davies -  BVetMed CertCHP FRCVS 

Andrew qualified from the RVC in 1986 and gained his Cert CHP in 1992. He is now Veterinary Business Consultant of Synergy Farm Health having been Managing Director since inception in 2009 until November 2021. His responsibilities include exploring opportunities for Business Development, being involved in Medicines procurement, and advising and mentoring Senior Management at Synergy. He is very motivated by people development and education and has been heavily involved with the development of the Internship programme and the Farm Animal Teaching rotation for final year veterinary students with the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Andrew is POV (Principal Official Veterinarian) of Farmcare West Ltd (the Veterinary Delivery Partner for DEFRA in the West of England region); on the medicines procurement Team for XLVets UK Ltd; Non-Executive Director for VDS (Veterinary Defence Society) and a Governor at Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester. Andrew was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS) in 2020 for meritorious contributions to the Veterinary Profession. Clinically he is interested in proactive health planning programmes and has an active interest in Responsible Use of Medicines and the steps we can take in veterinary practice in minimising any impact on AMR (antimicrobial resistance) and the wider topic of sustainability and how farm vets can have a positive impact through disease control and farm management advice. He received the UK Food & Farming Industry Animal Health Adviser of the year award in 2019, and is a director of VetSalus.

Christine Utting - BVMS MRCVS 

Christine was born and grew up in Scotland, graduating from Glasgow University in 2015. She then emigrated to South Otago in New Zealand to start working for VetSouth Ltd. She quickly moved away from mixed work to focus solely on large animals with a heavy emphasis on dairy cattle. Her main veterinary interests include rumination technology and its integration into dairy farming systems and improving efficiencies and sustainable practices on pastoral farms. She lives on a low input pasture-based dairy farm with her farm manager husband and young family.

David Black - BVM&S DBR DVetMed FRCVS 

David graduated from Edinburgh in 1986 and has worked as a vet with all species, but mostly with farm animals. He is Managing Director of Paragon, a mixed independent veterinary practice in Cumbria. He has a particular interest in cattle breeding and fertility, including advanced breeding technologies, and as well as being a holder of a Diploma in Bovine Reproduction (DBR) he also recently achieved a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVetMed) qualification in this speciality. He is recognised as an Emeritus Specialist in Cattle Health and Production by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. He has been responsible for the establishment of a company called Activf-ET which delivers cattle breeding services, and especially IVF and novel associated technologies. Paragon was one of the founders of XLVets. David spent 11 years as Managing Director of that organisation before stepping down from the Board in the Summer of 2017. XLVets is a nationally distributed group of independent veterinary practices working together to achieve their aim of "Excellence in Practice”. He is Chair of the Board of the Veterinary Defence Society and Treasurer of the World Association for Buiatrics. David is co-founder of VetSalus, and is Managing Director, and most recently became a founder Director of Vet Sustain a Community Interest Company seeking to inspire and enable vet professionals and vet-led businesses to lead on all aspects of sustainability.


$1,050.00 NZD


Email -