Over the past fifteen years Merial Animal Health and Boehringer Ingelheim’s avian and swine departments have produced a number of innovative vaccines for improved animal health. Following Boehringer Ingleheim’s acquisition of Merial Animal Health, this focus on disease prevention continues, and is reflected in the ongoing investment in research into new vaccines for the poultry sector.

Following the recent appointment of David Strachan as head of the UK and Ireland Avian and Swine Business Unit, the rest of the avian team has now been announced. The team includes technical avian specialists and brings a wealth of practical experience from poultry production systems.

The five-strong team is as follows:

Avian and Swine Brand Manager - Callum Blair

A Glasgow vet graduate, Callum spent over six years in mixed practice before joining the pharmaceutical industry. He brings with him a wealth of experience in many species areas, particularly vaccines and vaccination, following a 17-year industry career. Callum is now responsible for all Swine and Avian brands.

Avian Specialist – Jennifer Lock

A Harper Adams graduate, Jennifer joined Boehringer in January 2018 from the Faccenda Group, one of the largest chicken, turkey and duck producers in the UK, where she worked since 2011; most recently as Agricultural Technical Compliance Manager. Jennifer comes from a background of biosecurity and hygiene training and as an Avian Specialist she will focus on helping producers with vaccinations, blood sampling and audits. She will be a regular visitor to poultry units across the UK as well as working closely with vet practices.


Avian Specialist – John Underwood

John has a wealth of experience in the poultry industry and has been instrumental in successfully driving day-old vaccination. Starting in Unigate, where he became Area Manager for Breeders, he then worked for the Grampian Country Food Group for twelve years, latterly as the General Manager in their Poultry Division. From 2009 until 2014 John worked for Space Ray (brooder heaters) in a worldwide sales and technical role. John joined Merial in 2014 as an Avian Specialist and continues this role within the new Boehringer Ingelheim avian team.

Avian Veterinary Adviser – Mike Clark

Mike Clark joined Boehringer Ingelheim as Avian Veterinary Adviser in October 2017. A Cambridge graduate, he spent an initial few years in mixed practice before moving to Minster Veterinary Practice, where he was a partner and director of the poultry practice. He is a Past President of the British Veterinary Poultry Association and is an Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham.

Avian and Swine Marketing and Business Assistant – Samantha Laxen

Sam is responsible for administration and customer care. She recently joined the Avian and Swine team from Alcon Surgical Equipment and Devices, where she had been working for the last six years as a Customer Care Representative in their Surgical Division.

The Avian Team reports into Dr David Strachan. A Cambridge vet graduate with a previous background in immunological research, Dr Strachan also spent ten years with the SAC Veterinary Investigation Service, in Aberdeen focusing on infectious disease diagnosis and control.

Dr Strachan says: “The new Boehringer Avian Team brings together many years of combined industry expertise from hatchery, broiler and layer production systems. Our focus is on developing high quality, effective vaccines for disease prevention alongside the provision of technical assistance, vaccine auditing and support for hatchery managers and producers. We continue to invest in our products while maintaining high standards of customer care and our team looks forward to meeting producers and vets at the Pig and Poultry Fair on 15th and 16th May.