Justine Shotton, Malcolm Morley and James Russell will lead the organisation for 2021/2022.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has announced its new officer team for the upcoming presidential year.
Zoo and wildlife veterinary surgeon Justine Shotton has been elected as president, and equine vet Malcolm Morley has been elected as junior vice president. Outgoing president James Russell will continue on the BVA officer team as senior vice president.
The role of the BVA officer team is to represent, support, and champion the whole UK veterinary profession. Officers are elected at the Annual General Meeting at BVA Members' Day in September, having been nominated by the BVA Electoral College and approved by BVA Council.
Dr Shotton BVSc BSc MSc was previously BVA junior vice president and will use her 2021/2022 presidential year to make sustainability a key priority for the profession.
Commenting on her appointment, Dr Shotton said: “I am thrilled to be taking the presidential reins today. This is proving to be a uniquely interesting and challenging time as the profession adapts to the demanding pressures of the pandemic, combined with workforce shortages and new challenges as we leave the European Union. But alongside these obstacles have come new opportunities and I believe it will be a very exciting year ahead.
“My theme for my presidency will be ‘Sustainability’, with a focus on environmental sustainability. The COVID-19 pandemic has centred the world’s attention on emerging diseases and how these interplay with our use and impacts on the natural environment. Societies have realised anew the benefits of exposure to nature and green spaces. The forced changes to working practices have shown the world that alternatives are possible, and even preferable.”
Supporting Dr Shotton, junior vice president Dr Morley BVSc MRCVS will use his extensive experience in veterinary medicine to represent the BVA and champion members of the profession.
Dr Morley said: “It's an immense privilege and honour to take on the role of Junior Vice President of BVA, working alongside Justine Shotton and James Russell. I have undertaken many clinical roles during my career and that journey has given me first-hand experience of the challenges faced by many veterinary surgeons.
“One of my main passions and interests is people—how we communicate with them, influence behaviour and collaborate together. People are central to veterinary work, whether those people are our clients, the animal owning public or the teams that we work with. I look forward to the next three years representing BVA and championing the people of this profession.”
James has been associated with BVA since 2008 when he joined the Veterinary Policy Group. In his final address as president at the BVA’s virtual Officers Handover and Awards event, he thanked 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.”
Image (C) BVA.