Niall Connell to join Scottish SPCA Board - Veterinary Practice
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Niall Connell to join Scottish SPCA Board

The Scottish SPCA has announced distinguished veterinarian Niall Connell is to join its Board

Niall Connell will take up a Trustee position with Scotland’s animal welfare charity, Scottish SPCA, from March.

Niall Connell, a leading veterinary surgeon who recently served as President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and is currently Treasurer, will also join the Board in March. He was a practising vet for about 27 years, the bulk of which was spent in a senior capacity with the PDSA. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Niall stepped back from practice work and has since worked at the University of Glasgow as a clinical and professional skills instructor.

Commenting on his appointment, Niall said: “For over 180 years, the Scottish SPCA has protected animals in need and championed improvements to animal welfare. Throughout my career I have worked with the charity regularly. I am so excited to be part of this exceptional organisation and I can’t wait to get started.”

Chief Executive Kirsteen Campbell said: “Niall Connell has had an exceptional veterinary career and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our Board. His reputation in the UK’s animal welfare is second-to-none and this, combined with the genuine enthusiasm he has for the unique work of the Scottish SPCA, means he will be a real asset to us.

“As pet owners struggle due to rising household costs and Scotland’s wild animals face pressures like never before, we have ambitious plans to make good animal welfare the norm in Scotland whilst continuing to help the animals who need us most.”

The Scottish SPCA also confirmed Fiona MacLeod will assume the role of chair from May this year. Fiona will take up the position at Scotland’s animal welfare charity in May, succeeding current chair and practicing veterinarian Ronnie Soutar when his term of office ends in May.

Ronnie said: “It has been a privilege and a genuine pleasure to serve on the Board of the Scottish SPCA for the past eight years. During my time here I have been inspired by the tireless dedication of the people who have made animal welfare their vocation and transformed the fortunes of countless animals.” 

Fiona is currently a non-executive director with Denholm Energy Services. Her previous Board roles include Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank plc and Virgin Money plc. She brings considerable experience in the charity sector, having been a Development Board member for Pancreatic Cancer UK and Chair of the Women’s Fund for Scotland. Fiona is from a farming background, having grown up on one on Islay.

Fiona enjoyed a very successful 30-year career in the energy business, working in senior roles in Europe, Australasia and North America. As CEO of her own consultancy, Fiona worked with clients including Qantas and Scottish Water on transformational organisational change and Board effectiveness.

Kirsteen said: “I must also recognise the excellent contribution Ronnie Soutar has made to the Scottish SPCA during his eight years on the Board, including as Chair for the past four. Ronnie’s guidance, support and counsel have been invaluable throughout his tenure, particularly during the past two years as we’ve continued to provide critical animal welfare services during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Current chair Ronnie Soutar will step down from the Board in May 2022. Ronnie said: “It has been a privilege and a genuine pleasure to serve on the Board of the Scottish SPCA for the past eight years. During my time here I have been inspired by the tireless dedication of the people who have made animal welfare their vocation and transformed the fortunes of countless animals.

“In the weeks ahead, I look forward to working with Fiona, Kirsteen and the Board to ensure a smooth transition.”

The Scottish SPCA responds to over 80,000 reports of animals in need every year. It relies entirely on donations from the public.

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