The award recognises and celebrates the work, commitment and innovation of vets in the early stages of their career.
The finalists were chosen from more than 100 entrants by the Award judges BVA President Malcolm Morley, President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Melissa Donald, Professor the Lord Trees and Zoetis National Veterinary Manager Jonny Lambert. Last year’s winner of the award, Alex Davies, also contributed to choosing the finalists.
The judges selected the finalists for outstanding and consistent care for patients, support for their clients and colleagues, the championing of causes in the profession, for inspiring others, giving back to their community or for going above and beyond the normal call of duty.
Alison Brough has been nominated for making a significant difference to the lives of aquatic animals, for creating strong positive relationships with clients and for always making a difference through her work as a fish vet.
Raised in a farming family, Alison’s heart was set on becoming a vet from as early as she can remember. In 2017, she realised her ambition, graduating from University of Liverpool and embarking on several years of farm animal practice.
In 2022, Alison took on the new role of fish vet with Scottish Sea Farms, the country’s second largest producer of Atlantic salmon, where she is focused on equipping those who work most directly with farmed fish with the skills and knowledge to deliver the best care.
She is a “real people person” and “an excellent example of a young vet making a very positive impact, mainly through her recognition that a relationship with people is the path to helping animals.”
Kirsty French has been nominated for excelling at her clinical work as a small animal vet, co-leading her practice’s environmental strategy, resulting in the practice gaining a top-level Green Investors in the Environment accreditation and becoming a member of the Vets4Pets sustainability strategy steering group, on which she represents all practice colleagues across the group.
Kirsty graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2019 and beginning work at Milton Keynes Vet4Pets, where she previously completed EMS as a student, and her passion for sustainability has pushed the practice to reduce its carbon footprint, waste and anaesthetic gas usage.
Kirsty is “an exceptional vet, team member and environmentalist”, thoroughly enjoys all aspects of being a first opinion vet and is currently in the process of completing the Improve International Accelerated Emergency and Critical Care Programme.
Hannah Hunt was nominated for her impressive surgical and clinical skills and enthusiasm and positive attitude. Her dedication to her work as a mixed animal vet was also highlighted.
She tackles farm, equine and small animal work, and is learning to speak Welsh in order to strengthen relationships with her Welsh-speaking clients at her bilingual practice in Aberystwyth.
Hannah, who graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2015, has also appeared on national radio giving veterinary advice and on children’s television to promote being a “big animal vet”.
She has a “terrific enthusiasm for her job, and continues to push herself to learn new skills, and take up any opportunity given to her to progress and learn more”.
She was praised for her dedication to continuing her development, recently doing an RCVS certificate in Small Animal Surgery and quickly grasping the skills to perform laparoscopic spay surgery.
BVA President Malcolm Morley said: “These inspiring and dedicated finalists are a credit to the veterinary profession and we know they have shining careers ahead of them.
“Congratulations to them all, this is a fantastic achievement, and they should be very proud.”
The winner will be announced at the BVA’s Gala Dinner at London Vet Show on Thursday 17 November at Excel London.