On Thursday 23 September 2021, James Russell concluded his year as British Veterinary Association (BVA) president with a final presidential address at BVA’s virtual Officers Handover and Awards event. As well as welcoming his successors in his speech, he also thanked BVA staff, volunteers and members for their hard work and support during a year full of “unprecedented change, challenges and uncertainty”.
He said: “I am also really proud of what has been achieved by BVA and our members in spite of COVID-19. We have a small team of staff who have worked really hard to make sure that we’re still supporting and championing our members and acting as a strong voice for vets at senior political levels across the UK.
“It has been a year like no other, and I can think of no role I would have preferred to hold during this year. It has been an immense honour to serve as BVA President every step of the way.”
James will continue on the BVA officer team as senior vice president.
During the Officer Handover session, zoo and wildlife veterinary surgeon Justine Shotton was elected BVA President for 2021/22. Winchester-based equine vet Malcolm Morley will also join Justine and James on BVA’s officer team for 2020/21 after being elected junior vice president.
Vets receive awards in celebration of achievements
Three awards were made to vets across the profession at BVA’s virtual awards event. These included BVA awards for outstanding contributions to veterinary science and services to the profession in the UK, 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 internationally renowned veterinary surgeon Professor Mike Herrtage in recognition of his outstanding contributions to clinical teaching and research, veterinary specialisation, and dog health and welfare.
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 Ed Varley in recognition of his long career and being a “true champion of animal welfare and ethics in the UK and internationally”.
The Bleby Cup was awarded to Devon-based vet Richard Walters in recognition of his exceptional contribution to BVA Council, the association’s key debating chamber and decision-making body, particularly in relation to his involvement in the development of key BVA policy positions, most notably the updated bovine TB position.