DAERA vet elected new president for BVA Northern Ireland Branch

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The Northern Ireland Branch of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has elected Jean Wales as its new president at its AGM, which was held at The Seagoe Hotel, Portadown on 25 January.

After serving a year as junior vice president, Jean will succeed Seamus O’Kane as BVA Northern Ireland president, the principal representative of BVA in Northern Ireland, alongside her day job working for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

I am honoured to be elected as the president of BVA Northern Ireland Branch. I believe that my range of experience in both public and private veterinary work and my many interfaces with other aspects of the veterinary profession throughout my career have equipped me well to represent the whole profession.

Jean Wales, President, BVA Northern Ireland Branch

Jean said: “I am honoured to be elected as the president of BVA Northern Ireland Branch. I believe that my range of experience in both public and private veterinary work and my many interfaces with other aspects of the veterinary profession throughout my career have equipped me well to represent the whole profession.

“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 the profession continues to be seen as a valued, evidence-based body on animal health, welfare and disease eradication.”

Congratulating Jean on her election, BVA president Gudrun Ravetz said: “I am delighted to welcome Jean as president of BVA Northern Ireland Branch and know she will bring both knowledge and passion to the role.

“The work of BVA’s branches is invaluable in 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 Jean will continue this successful close working with government, industry, farmers, vets and other partners.”

After graduating from Glasgow Veterinary School, Jean worked as a mixed practice vet before moving to the public sector where she has been working in veterinary roles within government ever since, developing an interest and expertise in public health.

Jean has also been involved in veterinary politics, taking on roles such as BVA Northern Ireland Branch representative, honorary secretary and being a member of the UK-wide Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA).

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 Northern Ireland Branch has helped progress a range of issues including tackling bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) and officially brucellosis free (OBF) status, dog breeding and trade through the government’s review of dog breeding establishments and joint working with the Pet Advertising Advisory Group and the Irish PAAG, and involvement in Northern Ireland’s forward-thinking Going for Growth Initiative.

For more information about BVA Northern Ireland Branch, please visit www.bva.co.uk/About-BVA/Association/Northern-Ireland-Branch/