The RFVS is a group of motivated vets and vet nurses with a common interest in raw feeding and species appropriate nutrition in dogs and cats.
To promote the principles and practical aspects of species-appropriate nutrition, through education of veterinary professionals and the pet-owning public.
As practising veterinary surgeons it is important we give clients clear, practical feeding strategies they can follow in their busy lives. In a biologically- ideal world every hunting carnivore would be fed on live prey. Clearly this is socially un-acceptable, morally questionable and impractical. A spectrum of ‘lesser’ alternatives are available, and there will always be a trade-off between convenience, ideology, cost and practicalities. What is right for one pet owner may not work for another.
So let’s not talk in ‘definites’ – there is no right or wrong, simply different ways of improving our pets nutrition to greater or lesser degrees.
It is UK based, but we welcome any veterinary professional from around the world. Formed in 2014, it represents another step in the evolution of the recognition of feeding pet animals food they would, logically, have adapted to over millennia in the wild. We are committed to professional, responsible communication, education and research on all areas of nutrition in dogs and cats.
Founder and Director
Nick runs Holisticvet Ltd. in Wiltshire and he passionately advocates for responsible, species-appropriate raw food feeding for pets and has done for the last 25 years. His pet topics are gastroenterology and the microbiome and the misuse of pharmaceuticals in medicine. He loves researching all aspects of human and animal nutrition.
President & Director
Dr Neus Candela is an integrative vet focused on fresh food feeding and founder of NutriVets, a service that helps pet owners switch their dogs and cats to a healthy diet. She has worked as a conventional vet for 10 years in Spain and the UK and holds a postgraduate degree in Acupuncture.
Dr Candela also lectures and delivers courses on raw and cooked food and works as a raw food company consultant. Her strong presence in Social Media is helping to spread the positive message that healthy food has for pets, as well as the problems and limitations of conventional veterinary medicine.
She is the Junior Vice President of the RFVS and will be taking over as President at the 2020 Conference.
Senior Vice President & Director
Brendan qualified from London Vet School in 1994 and has worked in general practice for 25 years. In 1998 he took over the partnership of Towerwood Vets. In 2002 Brendan became the secretary for the regional branch of the BVA, the Yorkshire Veterinary Society, becoming president in 2014. He was also nominated and voted the first BVA regional representative for Yorkshire and Humberside between 2007 and 2014.
Brendan strongly feels that nutrition is an essential part of animal health and welfare and has a wealth of general practice experience offering advice on, and monitoring clinical cases of, biologically appropriate nutrition for both cats and dogs.
Junior Vice President
Christian Vergara is the first vet in Chile who adventured into teaching raw feeding to his colleagues. He is the Medical Director of Barfchile. Christian’s passion is the microbiome and teaching people all about it.
Katie qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 1998 and became Head Nurse in a mixed practice. She has worked as an NVQ assessor as well as in weight clinics, theatre and kennels.
Katie completed a BSc in Animal Behaviour and Physiology and has taught on the VN degree program, worked with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. She delivers CPD to veterinary professionals and shares her experience with owners to help improve the diet and health of their dogs.
RFVS Facebook Group Coordinator
Sasha has been a Veterinary Nurse since prehistoric times. She is passionate about improving the health of pets, with nutrition and education as the key stone.
Sasha also has a her own business, Paws at Yours, a mobile Veterinary Nursing service.
Moddie Lambert BCCSDip. HthNut is a qualified Canine Nutritionist and owner of Simply Raw Feeding with over 8 years experience of tailoring enhanced raw feeding solutions for dogs of all breeds.
As a dog and cat owner all my life, my passion is helping owners to get the best outcome for their dogs and cats through a balanced, natural diet. I am a huge fan of tripe and known to some as the “Tripe Queen” a glamorous, title of which I am very proud!
Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA, founder and owner of The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center, is an internationally-renowned pioneer in complementary medicine and physical rehabilitation. She graduated with high honours from the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine in 1995 and is now based in Chicago, USA. Barbara Royal is a published author, international lecturer and has formulated a new line of raw food.
Laia is a vet from Barcelona and graduated in 2003. She moved to the UK in 2013 and now works as a Deputy Head Vet in The Wylie Veterinary Centre, a hospital and Wellness Centre that focuses on prevention of illness through natural food.
Her main interest is in Emergency and Critical Care Medicine and Surgery, but is also very passionate about natural therapies and their potential.
RFVS Social Media Coordinator
Amaya is a vet from Spain, with a Diploma in Feline Medicine by Centro de Especialidades Médicas Veterinarias, Argentina.
She specialises in feline care and started Felvet in 2013, working with cat owners who have poorly cats, providing them with support and advice in health, nutrition and behaviour that’s missing from conventional medicine.
Raw feeding is just one of the alternative tools that she uses in her practice.
Dr Richard Malik, Sydney University
Dr Karen Becker
Dr Ian Billinghurst
BVSc (Hons), BScAgr Dip Ed
Dr Barbara Royal
DVC, CVA, CIAC
Dr Lyn Thomson
Adjunct Professor (Docent), PI, DVM, PhD, CVA
University of Helsinki | HY · Equine and Small Animal Medicine
Dr Emma Bermingham, PhD
Dr Thomas Lonsdale
On November 12th 2020, we lost one of our own, Catherine O’Driscoll, founder of CHC (Canine Health Concern). An inspirational, brave and unique human being who we at the RFVS have decided to make an honorary associate member posthumously.
Catherine was a passionate advocate for raw food feeding ahead of her time in her relentless and selfless pursuit of wanting the best for our dogs. In Catherine’s own words; “Use your voice, your intelligence, your love, and speak the truth for those who will benefit from listening.”
As we gain momentum in striving to educate on the importance of species-appropriate nutrition, let’s do so in Catherine’s memory carrying forward the crucial foundations of her work for which she so selflessly gave of her time and of herself.
We miss your presence, Catherine, you deserve to rest easy with all your beloved dogs who went ahead of you. Neither your work nor your courage will ever be forgotten.
Dr Nick Thompson
BSc (Hons) Path Sci., BVM&S, VetMFHom, MRCVS.
How could we NOT have Dr Nick Thompson as an Honorary Life Member? Without his vision in bringing together a small group of vets and nurses in November 2014 all of whom shared his passion for feeding real food, RFVS Ltd would not exist.
Over the years, Nick has brought together an ever-growing group of professionals sharing this passion, has led a voluntary committee in steering RFVS forward, has organised annual conferences with speakers and delegates from all over the world and built up the strong, still growing and ever more international organisation that is RFVS Ltd today. He has inspired so many pet owners with the confidence to improve their pets’ diet through his own practice, through his workshops and more recently, his social media presence.
Truly a vet who has made a difference to the wellbeing of so many pets.