New president for veterinary body

Shropshire farm animal and equine veterinary surgeon John Blackwell has been elected as president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) for 2014/15.

The BVA ceremony, held the Association’s Members’ Day  at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, also saw Sean Wensley elected as junior vice-president and Robin Hargreaves elected as senior vice-president.

Blackwell, who is the current director of Brownlow Veterinary Centre, a three-centre mixed practice in Ellesmere, Shropshire, was born and raised in Wrexham, and graduated from the University of Liverpool Veterinary School in 1985.

He is a former president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association, a director on the Animal Medicines Training and Regulatory Authority (AMTRA) Board, and an external lecturer on the emergency slaughter of cattle at Nottingham Veterinary School.

Blackwell’s theme for his presidency is ‘Delivering Change and Shaping the Future’. He said: “I am proud and honoured to become the president of the BVA. I look forward representing our members views and to the challenges that lie ahead as we continue to promote the value of veterinary healthcare and expertise to society, ensuring that all animals have a life worth living.”

Outgoing president Hargreaves also had a message for British vets, emphasising the need to build on trust: “Trust exists in every individual vet/client relationship, in the relationship between BVA and our members, and between the veterinary profession and policy-makers.” Hargreaves said this trust needed to be used and developed to defend and champion the veterinary profession.

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