SATURDAY 14TH NOVEMBER 2020 | ZOOM CONFERENCE

RFVS Conference 2020

When the Science Hits the Fan


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This year, we are examining the science behind raw feeding.

Our 2020 conference is a little different as like so many events this year, we have moved online.  It’s a great opportunity for RFVS to share knowledge from our team and invited speakers with members, paraprofessionals and keen pet owners all over the world.

The programme is below.  As well as the formal presentations, the speakers will be discussing their talks with each other between the presentations.

You will be able to ask questions by submitting them through the Zoom Chat facility.  Questions will be answered at the end of each presentation. 

You will receive a PDF of the proceedings and the link to join the Zoom Webinar on Thursday 12th November.

A big THANK YOU to all of our supporters, without whose generous support the RFVS would not exist. View our fantastic supporters here.


Saturday 14th November


8:45 – 9:00 Dr Brendan Clarke BVetMed VetMFHom MRCVS – A Review of the RFVS’s year.
9:00 – 10:00

Rowan Sanderson – The Microbiome: What We Can Learn from Human Nutrition and Medicine to Better Help our Pets

Rowan has nurtured a lifelong passion for better understanding nutrition, and it’s impact on both health and longevity.
Discussing the exciting advances in human functional medicine, nutrition and supplementation, which are filtering into our pet wellness world.

10:00 – 11:00

Dr Christian Vergara DVM – The Microbiome: The Science behind the Forgotten Organ

Christian’s passion is the microbiome , and teaching people all about it. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from this passionate advocate for such an important organ.

11:00 – 12:00 Break
12:00 – 12:30

Dr Conor Brady BSc PhD – We need to talk about fibre… the good, the bad and the ugly of this little discussed nutrient.

Having graduated with a degree in zoology in 2002, Conor obtained a doctorate from University College Dublin, studying the effects of nutrition on the behaviour and gut morphology of mammals. He is a lively and engaging speaker guaranteed to inform and entertain with a lot of science.

Conor questions the long-term suitability of plant fibre to the meat-eater. Regardless of what you believe the dog eats specifically in the wild, plant fibre is not normal fibre for a meat-eater.  In this talk we discuss the role of fibre, the use of plant fibre to date, the difference between Crude Fibre on pet food labels and the more accurate reading of Total Dietary Fibre, plant fibre’s potential successes in some canine diseases and it’s possible risks to breeds at-risk of diseases such as GDV and DCM in high-dose.

12:30 – 13:00

Dr Neus Candela DVM – Fasting Your Dog: Why it is Important and When to apply in a Clinical Setting

Neus is an integrative vet focused on fresh food feeding and founder of NutriVets designed to help pet owners switch their dogs and cats to a healthy diet, She is the 2020/21 President of the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society.  She will review the scientific literature for fasting and intermittent fasting in people and animals and sharing her clinical experience applying this strategy to help heal the body

13:00 – 15:00 Break
15:00 – 15:30

Dr Nick Thompson BSc BVM&S VetMFHom MRVCS – Raw Food and Anti-Microbial Resistant Bacteria

Anti-microbial Resistance (AMR) threatens the whole of human society, our domestic animals and potentially the long-term future our modern way of life. Raw foods carry bacteria and other organisms, some of which can carry resistance genes and other AMR capability.

How much do raw foods contribute to a future without anti-microbials?

Nick will briefly take us through the present situation for raw food feeding our pets in the light of AMR and suggest a pathway to avoid inappropriate criticism now and for the future.

15:30 – 16:30

Billy Hoekman – Competitive Inhibition for Safety and Nutrition

Billy Hoekman is the Nutrition Science Director for Answers Pet Food. He is involved in formulation, research, product development, working with farms, and science education.

He will lead us through an exploration of the world of fermentation. How does it make pet food safer? Does it have any effect on the nutrient content?

How does inhibition differ from the kill steps that are being adopted by the industry? Learn all of the ins and outs of keeping food safe, healthy, and raw!

16:30 – 17:30 Break
17:30 – 18:30

Barbara Royal DVM, CVA, CIAC – To Formulate or not to Formulate, that is the Question

Barbara will take us through questions about diet, and mull them over to create food pets will be glad they ate!

Dr. Royal is an internationally renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and physical rehabilitation.  She is known as a passionate advocate of common sense and cutting-edge approaches to animal health. She lectures around the globe, is widely published, and has been regularly featured in the media and in film documentaries for her groundbreaking work. She teaches about all aspects of practical integrative veterinary medicine through RAHU, and is an adjunct professor at California Polytechnic State University.

18:30 – 19:00

Dr Brendan Clarke BVetMed VetMFHom MRCVS – Supplements to enhance Gut Health

Brendan Clarke has been working in general practice for more than 25 years. He took over Towerwood Vets in 2003.  Being a unique practice with a holistic slant to animal health when Brendan joined the practice in 1998, he was immersed into a practice already advising on, and seeing the benefits of, biologically appropriate feeding for both dogs and cats.  He feels strongly that nutrition is an essential part of respecting the health and welfare of his patients.  He is the 2019/20 President of the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society.

19:00 – 19:30 Break
19:30 – 20:30

Dr Anna Hielm Bjorkman – Latest new from DogRisk Research

Anna Hielm-Björkman works at the University of Helsinki in Finland.  In 2007 she defended her PhD theses on complementary therapies for dogs suffering from chronic pain due to OA, including work on nutrition, nutraceuticals, acupuncture and homeopathy. Nowadays,a lot of her work involves canine nutrition, epidemiology and –omics. Her life-work is to be a game-changer in preventive medicine, both for pets and humans and to combine evidence-based methods with controversial questions. 

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