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At Origin Vets we treat and advise exclusively on non-domestic species. So whatever is your passion, we take your animals seriously. We’re not your standard dog and cat vets. All of our CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is focused on your animals  – be that pythons, ferrets, tarantulas or elephants –  so we can help them better and give you the service that you want for your animal.

Origin Vets are active within the zoo and exotic vet community with memberships of the British Veterinary Zoological Society, Association of Avian Veterinarians, Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians and the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians. 


Dr. Lance Jepson


Lance qualified from the University of Cambridge in 1989 working in small animal and exotics’ practice.
Lance was Honorary Lecturer in Exotic Animal Medicine at the University of Liverpool from 1996 to 2008.

In his time he has lectured both abroad and locally to veterinarians, veterinary nurses and students He has worked solely in the exotics’ field since 2000 and in 2003 set up ‘vet4dragons’, his own exotic animal veterinary consultancy. In 2012, along with a colleague, he started Origin Vets – a veterinary service dedicated solely to exotic and zoological animals.

Lance has authored a number of books including a veterinary text book, pet care books on aquarium fish and reptiles, plus magazine articles and contributions to other books.


Dr. Tom Bailey

BSc, BVSc, MRCVS, CertZooMed, MSc, PhD, Dip ECZM, RCVS Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

After graduating from Bristol Vet School in 1991, Tom worked in a variety of free-living and captive wildlife projects and hospitals in Africa and the Middle East. In 1991 Tom led a team of Bristol University students called the Savannah Wildlife Project to conduct research on duiker antelope, and establish a veterinary centre and education facility at the Chipangali Wildlife Trust in Zimbabwe.

In 1992 along with Dr Jaime Samour, a renowned international avian veterinarian, Tom helped to develop the veterinary department for the National Avian Research Centre, a large captive breeding and restoration project for bustards in the United Arab Emirates. Here too he was fortunate to do his PhD. Tom returned to the UK in 2001 to do the MSc in Zoological Medicine at the Zoological Society of London. After a year in the UK the Middle East beckoned again and Tom worked at Dubai Falcon Hospital and the Wadi Safa Wildlife Centre in Dubai until 2011. In Dubai Tom provided veterinary support to a turtle rehabilitation project and a number of large private zoological collections.

From 2011-2014 Tom was Head of Aviculture and Health at International Wildlife Consultants, responsible for the veterinary care and aviculture programme of a large raptor conservation and falcon breeding project in the UK. In 2014 Tom taught courses on Animal Welfare and Wildlife Rehabilitation at the Coleg Sir Gar campus of the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.

Tom holds a Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine (Avian), has published over 100 journal and book articles and edited newsletters on raptor conservation and wildlife conservation.

In his spare time he enjoys bringing up his family on an environmentally friendly small-holding on the Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park.

Rhian Smith



Rhian qualified as a registered veterinary nurse in 2012 from the Royal Veterinary College and joined the Origin Vets team in 2019.  She has always had a keen interest in exotic species having trained alongside various species and volunteered as a veterinary nurse at ZSL London Zoo in her final year of study. In 2018 Rhian completed the City and Guilds certificate in Veterinary Nursing of exotic and wildlife species. 

Rhian has undertaken various volunteering work to improve animal health and welfare including volunteering for Animals Asia in 2014, working alongside the veterinary team to treat and care for the Asiatic black bear (moon bear), Malayan black bear (sun bear) and the brown bear in both their China and Vietnam sanctuaries. In 2019 Rhian volunteered for Wildlife Vets International in India, helping to triage, treat and care for wild birds (mainly the black kite) during India’s international kite flying festival. 

Rhian is a member of the British Veterinary Nursing Association and the Association of Zoo and Exotic Veterinary Nurses (AZEVN) and has given lectures for AZEVN in 2016 and 2018.  

Alongside exotic animal care, Rhian is also passionate about the education of future Veterinary Nurses, lecturing and supporting students through the Veterinary Nursing course at Coleg Gwent.  

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