Vets

Steve Tasker BVSc MRCVS

I qualified from Bristol University Vet School a millennium ago, and there followed a varied career working with different animal species, from cats and dogs to cows, sheep and horses, in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Edinburgh, before settling back in the South West in 2000. I became a partner in the Practice in 2002 alongside Liz Watkins. Following her retirement in 2018, I became sole owner/director until Holly bought a part share in the business.

 

I have always loved general practice, and still do! I love the variety of work we get to do on a daily basis. I can be helping a client with their dog's lameness issues one minute and discussing the treatment options for a geriatric cat the next. The pull of the operating theatre is still very much alive, and I find both complex and straightforward surgery equally rewarding. I consider working in this profession an honour and as a Practice we do not take this for granted. As vets we get to spend our working day in pleasant company, in a nice workplace, with plenty of fluffy/purring/waggy-tailed patients around, and we get to help them get better! What could be nicer?

 

Being a small animal vet can have its challenges, and the last few years has had more than its fair share of these, but our team has pulled together even more than before and for this I am very proud and immensely grateful. I am hard-working, fully committed to the Practice, proud of my profession, and hold high a sense of fairness, whether it be doing the right thing by the animal, treating the clients with respect, or developing the careers of the colleagues around me. Our emphasis on effective communication with our clients remains a focus, and we continue to look forwards as we develop the Practice even more.

 

When I am not at work, I split my time between the roles of head chauffeur to the teenagers, and full services provision operative to Molly the black lab, Zammy the British Shorthair, Bobble the Ragdoll and Persian Mollie-Moo.

Vet Team

Mario Amaral DVM PGCertSAM MRCVS

RCVS Recognised Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Medicine.

Group Medical Director

Cristina Perez DVM GPCert (FeLP) PgC FVS ISFM AdvCertFB MRCVS RCVS Recognised Advanced Practitioner in Feline Medicine

Veterinary Surgeon

I qualified in 2001 from Lisbon University in Portugal. I have extensive veterinary hospital experience in both Europe and the UK. I work in our Portishead practice, where I use my experience along with skills gathered during the completion of my BSAVA Post-Graduate Certificate in Small Animal Medicine to ensure that our patients get the best possible care. I also enjoy supporting the ongoing training of my colleagues. Since 2015, I am also a RCVS Recognised Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Medicine.

 

My main interests are internal medicine and ultrasonography. I do enjoy the challenge that exotic species pose, so I also have a strong interest in exotic medicine, from small furries such as rabbits, guinea pigs and mice, to tortoises, snakes and parrots.

 

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife, who is also a vet, and young family, and when I can spare the time I like to exercise, either by running, swimming, biking and sometimes even all three in one go.

I qualified as a vet at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) in 2007. I moved to the UK only a couple of months later to undertake further training which was funded by The Leonardo Scholarship. Since then, I have worked as a Veterinary Surgeon in Reading and Oxfordshire and due to my husband’s job moved to the beautiful countryside in Somerset. I hold a General Practice Certificate in Feline Medicine and I have been awarded Advanced Practitioner status by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). While I was on maternity leave after the birth of my first son, I also obtained the ISFM Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour.

 

I enjoy all aspects of the profession, but I am particularly interested in surgery and diagnostic imaging. I also love little furry things like guinea pigs and rabbits. In my spare time I like trying new things. This has led me in recent years to learn Japanese, Thai and take up archery. I love travelling abroad (the further the better) and I take any opportunity to experience new cultures. I am currently on maternity leave following the arrival of my second son.

Hannah Darbey BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Louise Harrison BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2017 and moved back home to the South coast to practice all things small animal. I moved to Bristol in 2019 and joined the Watkins and Tasker Vets team in September 2021.

 

I have a love of all pets and thoroughly love all the work involved with being a small animal vet, but in particular the surgical aspects. I will start work towards gaining a Surgical Advanced Practitioner qualification soon so I can continue to learn the evolving ways which we can enhance our pets’ lives!

 

Outside of work I keep busy with attending dance classes and doting on my cat, Momo. I am also part of the EcoTeam at Watkins & Tasker Vets.

I graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2017, but grew up locally and returned to the area to start my career. I worked at a busy hospital in Bristol before joining the team at Watkins and Tasker Vets in 2021. I love all aspects of first opinion practice, but my main interest is internal medicine, particularly endocrine diseases such as diabetes, and I'm currently expanding on this by studying towards a certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice.

 

Outside of work I'm a keen runner and enjoy exploring the local muddy trails. Hopefully soon I'll have a dog of my own to take along with me!

Lizzie Bennett MA VetMB PgC GPCertSAM MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

I grew up in beautiful North Norfolk and returned there after graduating from Cambridge University in 2013. I spent four years working in a rural small animal practice in Norfolk but time for a change of scenery and a few hills meant a relocation and I started with Watkins and Tasker Vets in February 2018. I enjoy all aspects of general practice but I find internal medicine particularly interesting and rewarding. I hold a Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Medicine.

 

I own two crazy cocker spaniels, Barney and Edie, and much of my free time is spent exploring the countryside with them. We also train and compete in dog agility. Away from the animals, I enjoy cooking, skiing and singing.

James Greenwood BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

As seen on CBBC's "The Pets Factor" and BBC Morning Live

I qualified from Bristol University in 2007 and after a stint in equine practice I have since worked in small animal practice with a keen interest in surgery, dentistry and general consulting.

 

Outside of work, I am a keen potter and make bespoke pet food bowls. I have a one-eyed Labrador called Oliver, a rescue puppy called Dolly and live on a smallholding with sheep, ducks, hens and a goose called Ryan Gosling.

Katy Duncan BVMS BSAVA PGCertSAM MRCVS RCVS

Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Medicine
Veterinary Surgeon

Amy Parsons BVetMed GPCert (SAS) MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

After graduating from the University of Glasgow in 2008, I started my veterinary career in Scotland where I first fell in love with all aspects of small animal general practice.  Originally from Wiltshire, we made the move back to the South West in 2010 to be closer to family.

 

I have a strong interest in internal medicine, critical care and ultrasonography and especially enjoy caring for our hospitalised patients at our Portishead branch.  I hold the BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Medicine (with distinction) and am an RCVS recognised Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Medicine.

 

Outside of work I am kept on my toes by my twin daughters and our exuberant Golden Retriever, Freya.

I graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2005 and cut my teeth in a busy small animal hospital in Hertfordshire, where I fell in love with all that first opinion general practice entails.

 

Having then started a family we made the move West to be closer to my homeland (Wales) and joined the Watkins and Tasker Vet team in 2013. I am passionate about all things general practice – I love following a case from its first presentation in the consult room, through diagnosis and ultimately offering the treatment required. I hold a small animal surgery certificate and my area of special interest is soft tissue surgery.

 

Outside of work, I am kept busy with my taxi service to two growing boys and running with my lively Sproodle, Dot Cotton.

Abi McCarthy BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

Amy Bowler BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

I graduated from Bristol vet school in 2020 and spent my first year and a half at a small animal practice in the West Midlands. I enjoyed my time in the Midlands but missed Bristol, hence the relocation back to the South West in April 2022.

 

I love many aspects of veterinary medicine but particularly enjoy soft tissue surgery. I also would like to develop my interest in laparoscopic procedures.

 

Outside of work I enjoy wild swimming (I’ve swam a lot at Clevedon!) and running, I’m also currently learning to fly.

 

I spent my first two years as a vet at an exotic referral practice in Norwich after I graduated from Bristol University in 2016. I dealt with all sorts of species from tiny mice and canaries to giant monitor lizards and 11 foot boa constrictors! My partner and I missed the West country so we moved back where I worked at a couple of small animal practices before joining the team at Watkins and Tasker Vets in September 2020. My main interest and passion is helping exotic animals and I am currently undertaking my Postgraduate Certificate in Exotic Animal Practice. I enjoy all aspects of general practice and love seeing dogs and cats as well as the more unusual species. I have a particular soft spot for rabbits and small furry creatures but am always delighted to see your pets with feathers, scales, shells and spikes as well!

 

At home I have a playful cat called Lana who is very vocal about needing constant attention and love! Outside of work I enjoy walking and cycling in the countryside, playing board games with friends and family, baking and crafts.

Sam Leaney BVSc MRCVS

Veterinary Surgeon

I grew up on a working beef and sheep farm in Taunton which ignited my love for animals. I graduated from University of Bristol in 2021 as a mature student, having previously graduated from University of Birmingham with a Zoology degree.

 

Given my interest in small animals, I focussed my placements at small animal practices and hospitals around the South West. During this time, I found medicine and ophthalmology cases particularly interesting.

 

I love the outdoors, so in my spare time I keep fit by playing tennis, running and hiking. I also like to draw and paint portraits of my friend’s pets. I currently own 2 Embden geese that I hatched during lockdown (Chanel and Patrick), and an old-aged Wire-haired Dachshund, Olga.

Katy Duncan BVMS BSAVA MRCVS

Amy Bowler BVSc

Sam Leaney BVSc