School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

David Black


0115 951 6469


Non Provided


Non Provided


I qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Edinburgh University in 1986, and in 1992 - after time in practice and with Voluntary Service Overseas - returned to Cumbria joining a 3-man practice in Dalston. Paragon Veterinary Group now employs 18 vets, has built a small animal veterinary hospital, redeveloped a farm into a large animal and equine centre with operating facilities, merged with an embryo transfer company, and has an associate practice in Cumbria. I am now managing director of Paragon Veterinary Group. My main interests are in dairy practice, gaining my Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 1998, and becoming an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production in 2003. Foot and Mouth Disease decimated the practice, but it has now been rebuilt with a fresh perspective – during this time I sat on the Royal Society Inquiry into Infectious Diseases in Livestock. I am also managing director of XLVets, a novel growing new company composed of 43 veterinary practices around the country who are committed to the future of British agriculture and who are working together to promote “Excellence in Practice”.

Degree Registration:


School Research Theme:

Population Health and Welfare

Research Topic:

Iodine and bovine reproduction using IVF as a fertility model

Summary of Research:

Cattle fertility across the world continues to fall at the rate of at least 1% per year, which has a huge impact on health and production as pregnancy is critical to the subsequent lactation. There is a great deal we do not know yet, and many studies are needed - a robust technique that would allow quick, cheap assessment of bovine fertility would be very useful. Ovum Pickup (OPU) and In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) are not new techniques in cattle, and are used commercially with variable results. However, the project would aim to develop a repeatable and reliable technique and identify criteria such as number of oocytes collected, fertilsation rates, cleavage rates, blastocyst production rates etc. and relate these to subsequent pregnancy rates so that these parameters could be used in real-time to assess interventions, dietary modifications etc. Another advantage of the technique is that it would allow assessment of any interventions on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and hence remove any lower reproductive tract effects on fertility that are confounding factors which are difficult to allow for without large populations. As part of the study, artificial hatching of embryos and sexing of embryos will allow further factors to be assessed. To test the model, crossover studies manipulating the iodine status (which has a known effect of bovine fertility) of heifers would be undertaken, with the embryos produced transferred into recipients of normal mineral status.

Research Supervisors:

Dr Nigel Kendall

Primary Funding Source:



Copper Supplementation and Bovine Pregnancy Rates. Cattle Practice. 7(4): 423-429

Inherited Cardiomyopathy in adult Holstein Friesian cattle in Britain” (1991) 9:129(19):435)
BVCA/Nottingham Cattle Fertility Conference – September 1999; “Copper Supplementation and Bovine Pregnancy Rates – Three Types of Supplementation compared in Commercial Dairy Herds.”

Proceedings of XXI World Buiatrics Congress, Uruguay, December 2000; “Copper Supplementation and Bovine Fertility – Three Types of Supplementation Compared in Commercial Dairy Herds”

Proceedings of XXII World Buiatrics Congress, Hanover, August 2002; “Foot and Mouth Disease in Cumbria in 2001: Experiences of a Veterinary Practice in the Front-line”

BLACK, D.H., FRENCH, N.P. (2004). Effects of three types of trace element supplementation on the fertility of three commercial dairy herds. Veterinary Record 154: 652-658
Proceedings of XXIII World Buiatrics Congress, Quebec, August 2004;
“Foot and Mouth Disease in Cumbria in 2001: Experiences of a Veterinary Practice”
Proceedings of XXIV World Buiatrics Congress, Nice, August 2006;
“A Case Study of Copper Responsive, Sulphur Induced Infertility in a Commercial Dairy Herd”
“Mineral Supplementation and Bovine Fertility - Two types of Glass Bolus Supplementation Compared”














School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415