BVA appoints former farm vet as new president

Britain’s 17,000-member strong veterinary body has appointed a former farm vet as its new president.

New British Veterinary Association (BVA) president Simon Doherty hailed the strength and expertise of the veterinary community as he took up the role on Thursday (September 20).

Simon Doherty, who currently works as a veterinary consultant as well as his role as senior lecturer at Queen’s University, Belfast, was elected BVA President for 2018-2019.

In his speech at BVA Members’ Day, outgoing president John Fishwick also stressed the need to work together to weather industry challenges ahead and push for the best possible outcomes for animal welfare and workforce resilience. Fishwick will continue on the BVA officer team as senior vice president.

Kent-based exotics and companion animal vet Daniella Dos Santos was elected junior vice president and will also join BVA’s officer team for 2018-2019.

A new partnership was announced between BVA and graduate support specialist, Grads to Vets, to help young vets to realise their potential when they enter the workplace.

Key achievements

A number of awards were also presented on the day. These included BVA awards for outstanding contributions to veterinary science and services to the profession in the UK and in developing countries, travel awards for veterinary students and recent graduates, and contributions to BVA Council.

The Dalrymple-Champneys Cup and Medal for work of outstanding merit, which it is considered will encourage the advancement of veterinary science, was awarded to Prof. Julie Fitzpatrick OBE in recognition of her significant work leading research into livestock health and welfare.

The Chiron Award for outstanding contributions to veterinary science or the profession was awarded to Dr. Anthony Andrews for his lifetime’s work advancing expertise and specialism in the ruminant sector.

The Bleby Cup was awarded to Winchester’s David Harwood in recognition of his outstanding contribution to BVA Council.

The Harry Steele-Bodger Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Helen Inzani for her project working with vets and scientists in their endeavours to rehabilitate birds of prey and learn about the techniques they use.

BVA Overseas Travel Grants were also awarded to Rosie Bartholomew (Edinburgh) and Rachel Hartley Young (Cambridge).

Bartholomew undertook a project earlier this year on the challenges faced by female dairy farmers in the Likuni district, Malawi.

Hartley Young will study on the estimates of feline populations and a survey of ownership patterns and public opinions regarding cats in the Galapagos.

Dr. Tom McNeilly, from the Moredun Research Institute, presented the Veterinary Record Impact award which recognises the paper published over the last 12 months likely to have the most significant practical impact.

The winners this year are Bristol University Master’s student Emma Doherty; Prof. Richard Wall in Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences; Dr. Stewart Burgess at the Moredun Research Institute; and Dr. Sian Mitchell.

The team produced a paper on managing scab mites in UK sheep flocks.