The ABVA Council

The ABVA is managed by a group of individuals who both practice veterinary acupuncture themselves and who have a desire to help the ABVA and its members move forwards in the teaching and promotion of veterinary acupuncture both in the UK and further afield. 



ABVA President

Heike Kopac

“I qualified as a vet in Germany and have worked in first opinion practice in the UK since1993, first in mixed and then in small animal practice. I have practised acupuncture for 20 years, usually fitting it into my routine consults with small animals and the occasional horse visit. After the birth of my second child I set up my company Holistic Vet Care in East Yorkshire and have provided acupuncture for small animals and horses in East Yorkshire for 10 years.

I now combine work as a Locum small animal vet four days a week with private acupuncture. Nowthat my children are a little bit older I feel I can give a little bit of time to my favourite subject of acupuncture and try and help develop it in this country, so last year I joined the Council. We are all busy vets with busy private lives but if we can devote just a little bit of time to spread the word about acupuncture as well as trying to improve our understanding of it, it should be worthwhile. Apart from attending the regular meetings and help with general organisation I am responsible for answering questions from the website and keep members details up to date. This year I helped to man the ABVA stand at the London Vet Show and was amazed how many vets are interested in acupuncture".



Education Consultant

Dietrich Graf von Schweinitz

"A former President of the ABVA, I have been especially involved in organising and lecturing on the courses as well as recruiting the Spring Meeting guest speakers for many years. I have also served on the IVAS Education Committee and Board of Directors. I founded an equine practice in Guildford, Surrey which I recently sold and I now practice referral acupuncture and provide teaching both here and abroad. 

I have carried out and published pioneering research in the thermographoc monitoring of autonomic responses ot acupuncture in horses with chronic pain syndromes and in-needle electromyographic recordings of myofacial trigger points in horses.  More recently, I hav authored the papers 'Electroacupuncture for nerve injury in the horse' (Equine Veterinary Education, 2014) and 'Acupuncture for pain control' (Current Therapy in Equine Medicine, 2015).





Gary Cregan

Gary Cregan graduated from UCD veterinary college 1988, and worked from October 1988 to May 1990 in general mixed practice in Hampshire.  He returned to Ireland and worked with Athlone Veterinary Clinic from May 1990 to September 1990, again a general mixed practice.

In September 1990 Gary moved to his current practice Lissenhall Veterinary Hospital in Dublin. This was a large mixed practice, but with expansion of the city, it became a companion animal only practice about ten years ago. He is a partner in the practice and is involved with all aspects of busy practice life. Gary became interested in acupuncture about 10 years ago and has completed ABVA foundation and advanced courses. 





Jen Harrison

Jen graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2004 and has since worked in both mixed and small animal practice in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Surrey.  In 2006, she attended the ABVA Foundation Course at Shuttleworth College and she has since followed this with ABVA Advanced TCM and Electroacupuncture courses, being awarded the ABVA CertSCVA in 2009. Since then she has been a member of the ABVA Council and has assisted with the teaching of practical sessions on the Foundation Course.  She is the ABVA's Coordinator and is working towards tasks such as the formulation of an online learning platform and working with Dietrich to provide more and varied education in veterinary acupuncture, including the design and teaching of the Small Animal Recap course.  Jen was awarded a PGCert in Veterinary Education in 2018 and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Jen now lives and works in the New Forest where she accepts acupucture referrals and treats pets in their own homes.  Thrughout the Covid-19 pandemic she has also worked as NHS Contact Tracer.



Council Members


Gwen Covey-Crump

Charles Foster

Emma Hedderson

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