Vets on Farm progressing well

29 February 2024

Photo: Vet Services Hawke’s Bay Mixed Practice Veterinarian Alyse Hansen performing a liver biopsy during a farm visit in Waipukurau as part of Vets on Farm.


The Vets on Farm programme being facilitated by the Vet Council is well underway to support animal farmers in the North Island recovering from flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle.

Vets on Farm - supporting your recovery received $2.6 million from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to fund local veterinarians to provide on-farm advice and support to weather-affected farmers in Northland, Coromandel, Tairāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay, Tararua, and Wairarapa. The support includes farm systems reviews and planning, disease sampling and testing, and herd health planning. Farm planning will focus on animal health and welfare.

Now that the project’s funding has been fully allocated, contracted veterinarians have begun working with farmers.

Vet Services Hawke’s Bay is one of the practice’s involved in Vets on Farm. Its Production Animal Veterinarian Group Leader Camille Flack, who is based in Waipukurau, says it is hoped that farmers gain a lot of value from the project.

“Vets on Farm is a great opportunity for vet clinics to help their local farmers,” she says. “There’s a lot of people still battling with the impact of the cyclone and flooding a year on, and this gives us a chance to sit down with them and work on their farm systems and animal health without them worrying about the cost.”  

“We’ve got farmers who have been on their properties for their entire lives and in one day the whole farm landscape changed. Some people who were thinking about retirement suddenly have a lot more work to do. The flooding affected production and farm systems, and people lost acres of land and/or hundreds of stock.”  

Camille says it was difficult to evaluate the full extent of the loss people experienced but Vets on Farm was one way vets could be involved in long term recovery efforts in their region.  

“We have noticed trace element deficiencies like selenium, b12 and copper in production cattle and sheep, which is also potentially an implication of the wet weather over the last year,” she says.  

“Although the timeline to complete the Vets on Farm work is challenging, we are committed to doing our best for our clients. There have been some good wins a month into delivering these services and we’re looking forward to helping farmers get some great outcomes from this project.”  

For more information about Vets on Farm – supporting your recovery, visit