On 19 September, Simon Doherty concluded his year as BVA President with his final Presidential Address to over 100 delegates at BVA Members’ Day at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea, Wales. In his speech, as well as welcoming his successors, Simon looked at some of the highlights over the past year which included more joined up working between government and the veterinary community.
He said, “we are in an unprecedented period of change, challenge and uncertainty. What is clear, however, is that Team Vet is a small but hugely passionate and valued profession that will equip itself as well as it can to support animal and public health and welfare in the months ahead”.
Simon will continue on the BVA Officer team as Senior Vice President.
During BVA’s AGM, small animal and exotics vet, Daniella Dos Santos was elected BVA President for 2019/2020. Staffordshire-based, farm and mixed animal vet, James Russell was elected Junior Vice President and will join Daniella and Simon on BVA’s Officer team for 2019/2020.
Vets awarded in celebration of achievements
Several awards were made to vets across the profession at BVA Members’ 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, considered to be BVA’s most esteemed scientific award and to encourage the advancement of veterinary science, was awarded to Professor David Noakes in recognition of his outstanding scientific contribution to the field of veterinary reproduction and obstetrics.
- The Chiron Award, presented by BVA for outstanding contributions to veterinary science or to the profession, judged in either case as being of a standard commanding international or inter-professional recognition, was awarded to Professor Abdul Rahman in recognition of a long list of contributions to the global veterinary profession, and as a champion for advancing animal health and welfare standards worldwide.
- The Bleby Cup was awarded to South Lanarkshire vet, Emma Callaghan in recognition of her outstanding contribution to BVA Council, the Association’s key debating chamber and decision-making body, particularly in relation to small animals and issues affecting Scotland.
- The Harry Steele-Bodger Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Surrey vet Lydia Hudson for her project working with farmers in Kenya around the use of antibiotics on farm and how understanding of these influences the use of antibiotics within herds. She will also measure the impact of education programmes on farmers’ views and behaviour.
- BVA Overseas Travel Grants were awarded to Bishani Wickrama for a study of the welfare of captive Asian Elephants in Sri Lanka, Emily Freeman for the study of co-infection relationships between livestock and wildlife in rural Kenya, Julia Dahm for a research project into the epidemiology of fleas in smallholder livestock in Southern Malawi, Kate Toland for her research project into the conservation implications of inter-annual variation in reproductive phenology and season body condition of wrinkle-lipped, freetail bats in Cambodia.
This year’s keynote speech was delivered by Chiron Award winner Professor Abdul Rahman. His talk looked at the efforts to gain political support and regional cooperation for dog vaccination programmes in Asia and focused on the need for joined-up working between public health, veterinary, livestock and animal welfare agencies.