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Vets gather to honour Des Thompson
“There are not enough words to really explain how much Des has given to vets, nurses, students, owners, and pets throughout his career” – Alison Speakman.
Event in Belfast celebrates former BSAVA president.

Veterinary associations in Northern Ireland came together on Tuesday, 7 November to mark 40 years since Des Thompson OBE was president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and celebrate his contribution to the veterinary profession.

More than 50 delegates attended the event in Belfast, alongside Mr Thompson, his wife Rosalie, and two of his daughters.

The day included CPD from speaker Ed Hall and speeches from the organisations attending the meeting, including the BSAVA, the Association of Veterinary Surgeons Practising in Northern Ireland, the British Veterinary Association Northern Ireland, and the Young Vet Network in Northern Ireland.

In addition to serving as BSAVA president, Mr Thompson has also served as president of other major veterinary organisations including the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Northern Ireland Veterinary Association, and as chairman of the Ulster Branch of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

In 1991, he was awarded an OBE for his contributions to the veterinary profession and in 2014 he was the first person to receive the RCVS Queen’s Medal.

Although he retired as a veterinary surgeon in 2009, he remains an active member of the veterinary community in Northern Ireland.

Alison Speakman, BSAVA senior vice-president, said: “There are not enough words to really explain how much Des has given to vets, nurses, students, owners, and pets throughout his career.

“He is one of the kindest, most supportive, humble, and true gentlemen you will ever meet, and it is an honour to celebrate his outstanding achievements with him and his wife Rosalie.”

Image © BSAVA

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."