A senior lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast has been named ‘World Vet of the Year 2024’ at the prestigious Global Veterinary Awards.

Co. Down man, Simon Doherty was given the honour in recognition of his dedication and contribution to his field, at the awards which were hosted by the World Veterinary Association (WVA) in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dr. Doherty, who is a senior lecturer in Animal Health in the School of Biological Sciences and Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s, was also named the winner of the ‘One Health’ category at the ceremony, which was supported by Ceva Santé Animale (Ceva).

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled and slightly shocked to receive this fabulous award, it means a great deal to me, and I would like to thank the WVA and Ceva for the amazing recognition.

“When I discuss One Health, I always talk about it in the context of One Health in Action. Action requires many people to be ‘hands-on’, and this accolade is fantastic acknowledgement of the many team efforts that I have been part of and offered leadership to.”

Dr. Doherty’s expertise focuses on a One Health approach to global health challenges. This helps balance and optimise the health of people, animals and ecosystems, sustainable livestock agriculture and aquaculture.

The vet and academic began his veterinary career working in progressive farm animal and equine practice, and was later appointed the Animal Health and Aquaculture Sector Specialist for the UK Government’s Department for International Trade.

He is a past-president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and was the founding chair of the UK One Health Coordination Group, later chairing the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) Food Safety and Sustainability Working Group.

For the last 15 years, Dr. Doherty has been working with the international NGO, Ripple Effect, which is involved in sustainable development in six sub-Saharan countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia bringing his expertise in livestock health and welfare, and One Health, to the organisation.

Director of the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s, prof. Nigel Scollan said:

“We are extremely proud of Simon and delighted that his commitment to his work, not only within education at Queen’s, but beyond that, has resulted in receiving such an incredible, and very well-deserved commendation.”