A Ballynure-based mixed practice vet with almost 40 years of industry experience has been elected as president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) Northern Ireland Branch.
Alan Gordon, a Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies graduate, was elected at the organisation's annual general meeting held in Toome, Co. Antrim earlier this month.
Gordon has been associated with the BVA and its specialist division the British Small Animal Veterinary Association since he was a student. He joined the BVA Northern Ireland Branch team as junior vice president last year.
Gordon said he was "honoured" to have been elected.
"I look forward to giving back to the profession that has supported me for so long," he said.
I believe my extensive and varied clinical experience and previous veterinary representative roles stand me in good stead to whole-heartedly champion the issues that matter most to the veterinary profession in Northern Ireland.
"I look forward to working with the BVA branch team and veterinary colleagues throughout Northern Ireland to provide a strong voice for vets.”
Alan began his veterinary career with a brief stint at a mixed practice in north Antrim. He moved to Ballyclare in 1981 to join the Clare Vet Group, where he was a partner and director until 2016 and where he continues to be a consultant.
Apart from a special interest in small animal dentistry and dairy cattle fertility, he has also helped mentor new assistants and school children keen to pursue a veterinary education.
He is a former president of the Association of Veterinary Surgeons in Practice in Northern Ireland (AVSPNI), past chairman of the BSAVA, and has served on the boards of Veterinary Northern Ireland and the Veterinary Surgeons Supply Committee.
Past president Jean Wales
He succeeds Jean Wales, who sadly passed away while in the post in June 2017, as president of the BVA Northern Ireland Branch.
The BVA Northern Ireland Branch had recently worked on a range of issues, including responding to Government consultations on the challenges facing the veterinary profession and the food sector in Northern Ireland in light of Brexit.
British Veterinary Association president John Fishwick said: “The work of BVA’s branches is invaluable in representing the veterinary profession right across the UK, and many of the country’s animal health and welfare successes could not have been achieved without veterinary input and involvement.
As we head towards Brexit, it is vital that the veterinary voice is heard on border and other issues that are unique to Northern Ireland within the UK.
“I would like to take this opportunity to also pay tribute to Jean Wales, who made an extremely valuable contribution to the BVA Northern Ireland Branch during her sadly brief time as president.
"I know that Alan will continue the effective working with Government, industry, farmers and our other partners that is key to safeguarding animal health and protecting animal welfare in Northern Ireland.”