Wales Farmer photographer - All sorts of animals

A NEW reality TV series is giving viewers the inside story of an Aberystwyth vets’ practice – from goats to geckos.

Wales Farmer reported “Cameras have been strategically placed around Ystwyth Vets to film the six-part Welsh language series that started on S4C on June 7.

Two of the owners, married couple Phil and Kate, are also vets at the practice. Kate, who is originally from Northern Ireland and has learned Welsh, undertakes all the practice’s major operations.

Phil, who is from Aberystwyth, has also worked in Scotland and Cambodia training vets.

We also meet Dafydd Jones, one of the partners in the practice, who specialises in farm animals. He’s married to Diane Heyder-Bruckner, another vet at the practice who was born in Spain and brought up in France. A multilingual, she and Dafydd have two small children whose first and only languages are Welsh and French.

Viewers receive a taste of all aspects of the vets’ work as cameras and drones follow them at the practice and out in the local community, where lambing season is underway.

Dafydd Jones said: “This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this but it was very exciting. Fair play, the crew were great in blending into the background. We’d forget the cameras were there, which was the idea, particularly in the surgery. It worked well, and hopefully it comes across in the programme that we weren’t aware of what was being recorded.”

Throughout the series, viewers meet some traditional domestic pets and farm animals – as well as a few more exotic creatures such as geckos and coatis.

Dafydd Jones added: “On the farm side of things, a lot of the practice’s work is with cattle, sheep and horses. In terms of domestic pets, there is still variety there because it’s not just the cats and dogs, it’s also the rabbits and all sorts of other things coming in – from snakes to birds. Again, hopefully that comes across in the programme. You just can’t tell what will come in from one minute to the next.”

This can lead to a daily rollercoaster of emotions at the surgery. As well as treating animals, there will be sad occasions where treatment isn’t possible, as Dafydd Jones explains.

“The viewers will see that there are very sad occasions but also happy ones; we won’t give a false impression of what’s going on. Things go wrong with animals and every animal reaches the end of its life, but hopefully we can keep the animal happy. A large part of the work is making sure that the end of their life is painless too. It’s an inevitable part of the job.”

‘Y Fets’, produced by Boom Cymru, is in Welsh with English subtitles on S4C and also available on demand” here.

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