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About us

5m Books is an independent publisher. Our mission is to improve the health and happiness of the animals we farm and live with and to regenerate the world we farm and live in.

Our purpose is to

  • improve understanding of animal health
  • enable those working with animals and the land to do so better
  • regenerate our natural world through best practice knowledge sharing

We do this by creating books with care for those who care

  • for animals within the veterinary and allied professions
  • for farmed animals and pets and want the best environmental, economic and welfare outcomes
  • for the land, the sea and about the future of our planet

Looking forward

Our vision is for

  • our authoritative and innovative publications to be go-to resources in their fields
  • our efforts to significantly regenerate our natural world
  • our ethical, sustainable company to be ever more so

Looking back

5m Publishing was founded in the late 1990s, by members of the Muirhead family to share the results of their work on pig husbandry. Some of the original books are still available.

Through the 2000s the list steadily grew. In 2012 5m was bought by Benchmark Holdings PLC, a multinational animal health company, who drove an expansion into aquaculture books and a reinvigoration of veterinary commissioning.

Further expansions came when the back catalogue of Nottingham University Press was given a home in 2013 when the university ceased publishing activities and by the purchase of Old Pond Publishing in 2014. 

Benchmark looking to simplify its activities sold a portion of the Old Pond list to Fox Chapel Publishing. 5m’s key staff bought out the remaining book business in 2020 and relaunched as 5m Books.

And finally, what’s with the five m’s?

We get asked this every so often. The answer is lost in the mists of time. One, probably apocryphal, origin story has it that the author of 5m’s very first book Recognising and Treating Pig Diseases, Michael Muirhead, was one of 5 brothers.

Which works.

We also like to think that the m’s represent our enthusiasm for the health and happiness of, among other things, moo-cows, molluscs, marmalade-coloured moggies and well-managed land.

We’d love to hear from you, please email us at