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Profession saddened by the passing of Lord Soulsby
Prof Stuart Reid and Lord Soulsby
Former RCVS president Stuart Reid presenting Lord Soulsby with the Queen's Medal.

Inspiring vet has died at the age of 90

Tributes are being paid to Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, who has sadly passed away at the age of 90. Lord Soulsby’s career has been described as unique and “truly exceptional”, dedicated to bridging the gap between human and veterinary medicine.

Lord Soulsby was the first veterinary surgeon to become a Life Peer of the House of Lords in 1990. He was also the first veterinary, non-medical president of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), where he served from 1998-2000.

The RSM and RCVS have expressed sadness at his passing. RCVS president Chris Tufnell said Lord Soulsby gave an “outstanding service” to the profession, veterinary science and animal welfare, and was known for his “endearing personality as much as his intellect”.

“He will be missed by many colleagues in the veterinary world but his legacy will live on through inspiring veterinary surgeons from all walks of life to work more closely with other healthcare and medical professionals and through his numerous published works and papers. Our sympathies are with his family and friends.”

A 1948 graduate of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Lord Soulsby was a professor of parasitology at the University of Pennsylvania, before moving to the University of Cambridge as dean and professor of animal pathology. He was also a visiting fellow or professor at institutions in Australia, Poland, Austria, Nigeria, Germany and the West Indies.

In 2015 he was awarded the Queen’s Medal, the highest award that the RCVS can bestow upon a veterinary surgeon. It recognised his contribution to One Health, as well as his international work as a fellow and professor across the globe.

Judy MacArthur Clark, a friend of Lord Soulsby, is quoted by the BEVA as saying the family are in the process of setting up a charity - The Soulsby Foundation - in his honour. It will support fellowships in One World One Health. Details of a memorial service will be published at a later date, though it is expected to take place in London this autumn.

Image courtesy of the RCVS

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Scheme to protect wildlife and reduce flooding

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Welfare event to discuss ethical dilemmas faced by vets

Students and ethics experts will host an event on the difficult moral challenges facing vets. Ethical issues, such as euthanasia and breeding animals for certain physical traits, will be discussed by prominent speakers including TV vet Emma Milne and RSPCA chief vet James Yeates. Other topics will include how to tackle suspected animal abuse and the extent of surgical intervention.

The conference will look at how these dilemmas affect the wellbeing of vets, and explore how to better prepare veterinary students for work. It will be held at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus from 30 September - 1 October 2017. Tickets can be purchased here.