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The Gloucestershire vet saving animals in Helmand

May 16, 2011

A British Army vet from Cheltenham has begun a six-month tour of Afghanistan, treating animals across Helmand Province.

Captain Laura Holmes (29) is a member of the Veterinary Engagement Team, based in Lashkar Gah. She travels all around Helmand, running veterinary clinics for Afghan farmers.

Army Vet Captain Laura Holmes with the aid of her vet technician Corporal Emma Ford. Picture: Sgt Russ Nolan RLC. Crown Copyright/MOD 2011

“Local farmers bring in their sheep, goats and cattle for a health check. We give the animals some medicine, and deal with any ailments they might have,” she said. “Each farmer has a few animals which he uses to feed his family, so their animals are fundamental to their lives.”

“We get to interact with the farmers too,” she added. “Whether we’re talking about animals or football teams, we can have some face-time with them.”

Laura also runs classes for the farmers, showing them how to look after their animals themselves.  “I teach them a bit of veterinary medicine and modern animal husbandry,” she said. “It’s absolutely fantastic to see the difference that it makes to their lives.”

Laura decided to become a vet because of her lifelong love of animals.

“I’m very lucky, I have an affinity with animals,” she said. “I also enjoy the medical side of things. I really enjoy seeing them get better.”

“And why the army? I really enjoy the challenge it provides. Every day here is different, whether I’m out on foot patrol, or flying to a new location, no matter where I go or who I meet, I learn something new every day. No two days are the same, so it’s always exciting and always challenging.”

Click on the image to view the full set on our UK Forces Afghanistan Flickr page, or on the video for the You Tube version.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Riddell permalink
    May 17, 2011 02:29

    I would like to say the pictures are lovely what a good rewarding job the vet has to travel all around helmand looking after all the animals

  2. January 5, 2013 09:50

    Winning hearts and minds through animals, excellent process.

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