Becoming a global force to help improve animal health, welfare and sustainability is a huge challenge, and one that can only be tackled by leading more manageable projects in collaboration with others. 

New Zealand-based VetSalus consultant, Mark Bryan, is involved in several projects all tackling the One Health issues from different angles. Below is a summary of those projects, outlining the project, and what each hopes to achieve.


AMU Data

The New Zealand Veterinary Association has an ambitious goal of not needing to use antimicrobials in animal production by 2030. New Zealand is one of the lowest users of antimicrobials globally, but its rate of reduction has been poor compared to other countries such as the UK.

A large project is underway in New Zealand, pulling together antimicrobial use (AMU) data from across the country to inform veterinarians and decision makers about the current situation. This activity builds on previous work published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal (see articles published by M Bryan and SY Hea in April 2016 and JE Hillerton, CR Irvine, MA Bryan, D Scott and SC Merchant in October 2015), some collaborative work with VetSalus founders, Synergy Farm Health in the UK and Nottingham University (which was presented at the World Buiatrics Conference 2018) and also some previous work with New Zealand XLVets clinics for MPI.


Participatory Development

We are into the final year of a three year project using Participatory Development (PD) to drive farmer change across Southern New Zealand. In the first year, using PD, farmers formed a number of focus groups where a facilitator worked with them to develop AMU reduction strategies. These strategies were then implemented on around 40 different farms and the impacts and ease of use monitored.

In the final year, the goal is to recruit up to 160 farms to utilise one or more strategies. The overall goal is to reduce AMU by around 20% across all participating farms. A secondary goal is to determine which strategies are most effective, in terms of quantum of reduction, and ease of application. We will be reporting the results over the later part of 2020.


NZ-UK Linkages

Recently, VetSalus partners in New Zealand hosted Lisa Morgans, who has completed her PhD in AMR at Bristol University. Lisa came to host a series of farmer and veterinary seminars, some farmer focus groups, exchange knowledge with epidemiologists and veterinarians in New Zealand, and get a better understanding of AMU across the world.

Lisa recently joined Innovation for Agriculture and is returning to the UK shortly to begin her exciting new role. We look forward to continuing work with her and with her new team.


The Psycho- Social Impact of Mycoplasma bovis

In 2017, M. bovis was discovered in New Zealand, and was determined to be an exotic incursion. New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries began the world’s first attempt at eradicating it from a country. VetSalus consultants have been heavily involved in this from the very beginning, from the frontline field work, to modelling eradication strategies, to advising the Minister for Agriculture.

More recently, a couple of VetSalus consultants have teamed up with some anthropologists and a medical doctor from Otago University, in a broad and complex project to determine the psycho- social impact of this disease and its subsequent eradication upon the rural community. This work was inspired by Maggie Mort and her team’s excellent work in Cumbria during and immediately after the Foot & Mouth Disease outbreak in 2001.

This is a two year project that is in its early stages. Currently we are collecting data from interviews and focus groups from a broad range of sectors involved in the rural communities impacted by M. bovis.


At VetSalus, we are now beginning to deliver on One Health linked projects, like those outlined above. A further bulletin of outlining other projects we are working on will follow next month.

If you have any projects that may be of interest to VetSalus, please contact us on