BVA Northern Ireland Branch elects new president

Seamus O'Kane
Seamus O'Kane

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) Northern Ireland (NI) Branch has elected Seamus O’Kane as its new president at its annual AGM, which was held at The White River House Hotel, Toome on 27 January.

After serving a year as junior vice president, Seamus will succeed Simon Doherty as BVA NI president, the principal representative of BVA in NI, alongside his day job as a consultant at a mixed veterinary practice in Dungannon.

Seamus said: “I am honoured to be elected as the president of BVA Northern Ireland Branch. I look forward to working with the BVA Branch team and veterinary colleagues throughout Northern Ireland to provide a strong voice for vets that best represents their views and ensures that the veterinary profession continues to be seen as a relevant, valued and effective body which can be called upon to maintain high standards in animal health, welfare and disease eradication.”

Congratulating Seamus on his election, BVA president Sean Wensley said: “I am delighted to welcome Seamus as President and know he will bring both knowledge and passion to his role and be an exemplary advocate for the profession in Northern Ireland. The work of BVA’s Branches is invaluable in safeguarding animal welfare and representing the veterinary profession in the devolved nations, where animal health and welfare are the responsibility of the individual nation. Northern Ireland’s vets have achieved landmark achievements in the last few years, such as the country’s official brucellosis free (OBF) status, and I know Seamus will continue this successful close working with Government, industry, farmers, frontline vets and other partners.”

After developing an interest in veterinary politics during his time as a student at Trinity College, University of Dublin, Seamus has continued to be actively involved in this area throughout his career, as both President and Secretary of The Association of Veterinary Surgeons Practising in Northern Ireland (AVSPNI), and as a council member of the North of Ireland Veterinary Association (NIVA). More recently he was appointed as a Northern Ireland representative on BVA Council.

As part of the network of devolved and specialist divisions, BVA Branches contribute local knowledge and expertise to BVA’s wider lobbying and representational activities.

Recently BVA NI Branch has helped progress a range of issues including bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) control, the achievement of officially brucellosis free (OBF) status, veterinary education, the young vet network, dog breeding and trade and has been involved in the All Party Group on Animal Welfare. For more information about BVA NI Branch, please visit www.bva.co.uk/About-BVA/Association/Northern-Ireland-Branch/