Our History

Bega Cobargo Veterinary Hospital in 1956

Bega is well known for its cheese and cows, with a strong agricultural history. The two Royle brothers – Struan and Peter – opened the first veterinary clinic in the Bega valley back in the 1950’s. The type of work and treatments available have changed a lot since these first days, however there has always been a strong emphasis on doing the best job possible for our clients and their animals.

In the early 1950’s, the brothers were directly employed by the local dairy farmers.  As a result, the veterinary work at that time mostly involved dairy production. When they were not visiting farm’s they were working out of a shed near the corner of Auckland and Gibbs Street in Bega. 

In 1956 the clinic moved to Tarraganda Road.  After this time, the Royle brothers started employing more staff and providing veterinary care for local dogs including vaccinations and surgeries.  This site was soon outgrown and around 1960 they started building the clinic on Auckland street which was worked out of for over 40 years and is now the Bega NRMA building.

Most of the veterinary work was still dairy work, with the introduction of our monthly ‘Herd Health’ visits which some farms are still continuing to this day. Horse work was an infrequent but important part of the growing business.  The national TB and Brucellosis testing programs in the late 1960s created more work and allowed the clinic to keep growing.

With the retirement of the Royle Brothers Peter Alexander and John Bowers took the reins of the clinic. John moved on greener pastures however, leaving Peter as the backbone of the clinic, building a great reputation in the community for his dedication to our clients and their animals. Over this time there has been a significant change of the role of dogs and cats as vital parts of the family and the clinic has continually changed to accommodate this growth.

The Bega Vet Clinic was honoured to have had Bruce Adams in partnership with Peter until his untimely death in 2007. Bruce was originally the local government Veterinarian before joining the clinic and assisting in its growth. Bruce’s passion was to be out working hard in the field either with cattle or horses and was well respected by all the clients he worked with. Many farmers still have fond memories and great stories of his time with the clinic. During this time Peter and Bruce opened the clinic in Cobargo to better service our clients in the north of the Bega Valley.

In April 2009 the team led by Peter Alexander and Jane Woolacott made the jump from Auckland street to its current site in North Bega. This modern clinic has created an inviting environment for your pets and plenty of space to keep up with the now vitally important work of looking after our client’s pets. The move also provided us the space to allow horse consultations at the clinic as more pleasure and competition horses take up residence in the Bega Valley.

During early 2020 Luke and Nicky Dawson took over the reins from Peter and Jane as Veterinary directors of both Bega and Cobargo Veterinary Hospitals under the banner of the Bega Valley Veterinary Group. Between both clinics we employ a large number of veterinarians of varying skillsets and interests in a modern, well-equipped veterinary facility, which cater to production, competition and companion animals, servicing the entire Bega valley, taking the clinic forward towards the next 70 years.