Meet our keynote speakers

Every year the AVA puts together an outstanding line-up of engaging, expert speakers, and 2017 is no exception. You can learn directly from the best in your field and have a casual chat with the author of your go-to textbook in the exhibition or at a special interest group event.
Our international keynote speakers are:


  • Dr Safi Barakzai, Arundel Equine Hospital UK, (equine, industry and dental);
  • Assistant Professor Stephan Carey, Michigan State University, (small animal);
  • Dr Peter Edmondson, RCVS specialist in cattle health and production and manager of Udderwise, (cattle).
  • Dr Martin Godbout, Globalvet founder and CEO of Daubigny Veterinary Group, (behaviour and practice management)
  • Dr Sean Wensley, British Veterinary Association senior vice president, (welfare and small animal);
  • Dr Andy Roark, founder of the Unchartered Veterinary Conference and DrAndyRoark.com (behaviour and practice management).




Safia Barakzai (UK)
Streams:  equine, industry and dental



Safia completed her surgical residency at the University of Edinburgh in 2003. She has surgical diplomas from the ECVS and RCVS and is currently a surgeon at the Arundel Equine Hospital in the UK. Her clinical and research interests are the upper airway, dentistry and imaging of the equine head and Safia has over 70 peer reviewed publications in these areas.

Sessions include:

  • Basic equine upper respiratory endoscopy and sinoscopy – techniques and tips
  • Cases where exercising endoscopy is useful
  • Dental and sinus radiography
  • Pathophysiology and treatment of equine
  • dental fractures and pulpitis
  • Prognosis for return to performance after upper
  • airway surgery and causes of surgical failure
  • Recurrent laryngeal neuropathy in the horse
  • Review of equine sinus anatomy and
  • pathophysiology of common disorders
  • Treatment of equine sinusitis and
  • complications of sinus surgery



Stephan Carey (USA)
Streams:  small animal



Stephan is an assistant professor at Michigan State University and an investigator with the Institute for Integrative Toxicology. He obtained his DVM from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed an internship and residency in small animal internal medicine, and a PhD in comparative medicine and integrative toxicology at Michigan State University. Stephan’s clinical and research interests include canine and feline airway disease, infectious respiratory disease, and the effects of environmental exposures on the developing respiratory system of children and pets.

Sessions include:

  • Canine infectious respiratory disease complex
  • Canine tracheal collapse: medical, surgical and
  • stent options
  • Diagnostic sampling of the respiratory tract
  • Ear-nose interactions in the management of
  • chronic nasal disease
  • Feline asthma
  • Feline chronic nasal disease



Peter Edmondson (UK)
Stream:  cattle



An interview with Peter Edmondson

Peter has 35 years of experience in dairy practice in Ireland, the UK and overseas and currently runs Udderwise, a veterinary consultancy. Peter is a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons specialist in cattle health and production. He has written two practical mastitis handbooks and co-authored others. He is a regular presenter at conferences and contributes to the veterinary and farming press. Peter is passionate about helping to transfer skills to the dairy industry in developing Africa.

Sessions include:

  • Dairy farming in developing Africa
  • Managing and motivating staff in dairy
  • practice
  • Marketing  your services to farmers
  • Practical use of mastitis records
  • Selective dry cow therapy
  • The milking machine
  • Treatment of mastitis
  • Veterinary practice around the world




Martin Godbout (UK)
Streams:  behaviour and practice management



Martin is the CEO of the Daubigny Veterinary Group, offering specialty veterinary services and general practice through a referral and emergency centre and nine general practices in the Quebec City area. He is also the founder of the banner GlobalvetTM, a global concept developed for veterinarians interested in integrating behavioural services and nutrition into their practices. Martin has contributed to specific research on puppy behaviour and appeared numerous times in the media in Canada as a veterinary behaviour expert.

Sessions include:

  • Behaviour as a core competency in practice
  • Detecting puppy behaviour problems at the vet clinic
  • Dog aggression
  • Dog learning, memory and emotions
  • Integrating behaviour in a general practice
  • Special edition dogs: which one should I treat?
  • Stress management for domestic cats


  • Risk assessment (AVBIG)



Sean Wensley (UK)
Streams:  welfare and small animal



Sean is the senior vice president of the British Veterinary Association and senior veterinary surgeon for communication and education at the PDSA, a leading veterinary charity in the UK. He obtained a Masters in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at Edinburgh Veterinary School and he is an honorary lecturer in animal welfare at the University of Nottingham. Sean has contributed to animal welfare and conservation projects in East Africa, China, India, Europe and the Caribbean.

Sessions include:

  • A report on companion animal well-being:less walking and more alone time
  • Animal welfare focussed practice
  • Animal welfare strategy
  • The cost of cuteness – brachycephalic dog welfare
  • The veterinary profession’s role in conservation
  • Voice of the veterinary profession – developing a visibility strategy


  • It’s raining cats and dogs (AVAWE)



Andy Roark (USA)
Streams:  behaviour and practice management



Andy is a practising veterinarian, international speaker, author, and media personality. He is the founder of both the Uncharted Veterinary Conference and DrAndyRoark.com and he has a successful online training course for veterinarians and veterinary teams. Andy reaches millions of people every month through various social media channels and he was voted twice as the Practice Management Speaker of the Year at the North American Veterinary Community Conference, one of the world’s largest veterinary conferences.

Sessions include:

  • Building client loyalty to grow your practice
  • How to handle angry clients
  • How to drive change in your practice
  • Staff drama
  • The Jedi mind trick


  • Sharpening the Axe