Jon Huxley was born and raised on the family dairy farm in North Wales. He graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London, in 1995 with the Royal Agricultural Society of England prize for Farm Animal Studies. After 12 months as Farm Animal House Office at Bristol Veterinary School he spent 3 years in commercial farm animal practice in Wrexham. He return to Bristol Veterinary School in 1999 to complete a PhD on bovine mastitis, which he was awarded in 2003. He remained at Bristol as Lecturer in Farm Animal Production Medicine until 2006 before becoming one of the first members of academic staff at Nottingham Veterinary School. He was awarded the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Certificate in Cattle Health and Production in 2000 and the RCVS Diploma in Cattle Health and Production in 2005. In 2006 he became a diplomate of the European College of Bovine Health Management and an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production. He is currently Professor of Cattle Health and Production in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Sciences.
I am a research veterinary clinician specialising in the endemic diseases of dairy cattle, particularly lameness, and the impact of the housed environment on animal health and welfare. In particular I am interested in addressing current clinical problems and knowledge gaps and transferring research findings to the dairy industry and veterinary profession.
- In my clinical discipline I have achieved the highest levels of recognition at both a UK and European level. I established the European College of Bovine Health Management Diploma programme at Nottingham and have a successful track record of supervising candidates for both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and European College cattle Diplomas.
- In a research context I have been an integral contributor to grants totalling to over £7.8M since 2006 from a range of sources including the BBSRC, UK agricultural levy bodies, the Wellcome Trust, Agritech, industry and charities. I pride myself in translating research findings and delivering high impact solution to the industry. I authored / co-authored two Impact Cases for REF 2014 which were described by the review panel as 'outstanding' (http://impact.ref.ac.uk/CaseStudies/CaseStudy.aspx?Id=28730 and http://impact.ref.ac.uk/CaseStudies/CaseStudy.aspx?Id=28721). My full publication record is available on ORCID (http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1149-2480)
- In a teaching capacity I had primary responsibility for leading the design, development and implementation of the farm animal course at Nottingham, I currently teach throughout the 5 year veterinary course. I have been an external examiner at the Royal Veterinary College and Dublin Veterinary School and sit on the RCVS course visitations panel.
My current activities focus on:
Lameness in Dairy Cattle. Lameness is a significant problem in UK dairy herds. Recent studies by the author and others have demonstrated that approximately 25% of UK dairy cattle are identifiably lame on any single day of assessment. This represents a significant health and wellbeing problem and causes marked production losses.
Current work includes the following:
- Studies to improve our understanding of the aetiopathogenesis of claw horn lesions (sole haemorrhage, sole ulcer and white line disease), particularly the structure and function of the digital cushion and other aspects of foot anatomy and their role in lameness prevention
- Randomised clinical trials to identify the most appropriate treatments for lame cows with claw horn lesions
- Randomised clinical trials on preventative foot trimming, to investigate the most appropriate methods and its impacts on health and production
- The behaviour of dairy cows whilst lame and following treatment
I am a principal investigator and work package leader on the lameness component of the AHDB Dairy Health, Welfare and Nutrition Research Partnership (http://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/), a £4.2 million, 10 year programme of research covering many aspects of dairy cow health, welfare and nutrition which began in the summer of 2011. In addition I currently hold research funding from the BBSRC and the University of Nottingham.
The Dairy Cow Housed Environment. The housing of dairy cattle has been under scrutiny in the popular press. A prolonged period of poor returns for dairy farmers has led to consolidation in the sector, leading to larger herds and longer periods of housing for some animals.
A strong evidence base underpinning policy decisions in this area is lacking. We are currently redeveloping the dairy research facilities at Nottingham as part of the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL, www.CIELivestock.co.uk), a nationwide Agritech initiative which will see £86.5 million invested in farm animal research facilities across the UK. As part of that redevelopment we are building a unique flexible housing system which will allow us to test the impact of the environment on physiology, health, wellbeing and production under carefully controlled conditions.
The building is due to be completed by summer 2017. The first work commissioned for this facility has been agreed with AHDB Dairy as part of the Research Partnership described above.