Ballynure-based mixed practice vet Alan Gordon has been elected as president for the BVA Northern Ireland Branch at its annual general meeting (AGM), held in Toomebridge, Co Antrim on 15th February.
A Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies graduate, Alan has worked in mixed practice for almost 40 years.
He has been associated with the BVA and its specialist division the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) since he was a student, before joining the BVA Northern Ireland Branch team as junior vice president last year.
Speaking of his appointment, Alan said: “I am honoured to be elected as president of BVA Northern Ireland Branch and look forward to give back to the profession that has supported me for so long.
"I believe my extensive and varied clinical experience and previous veterinary representative roles stand me in good stead to whole-heartedly champion the issues that matter most to the veterinary profession in Northern Ireland.
"I look forward to working with the BVA Branch team and veterinary colleagues throughout Northern Ireland to provide a strong voice for vets.”
Alan succeeds Jean Wales, who sadly passed away while in post in June 2017, as president of the BVA Northern Ireland Branch. 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.
The BVA Northern Ireland Branch has recently worked on a range of issues, including responding to government consultations on the challenges facing the veterinary profession and the food sector in Northern Ireland in light of Brexit.
Congratulating Alan on his election, British Veterinary Association President John Fishwick said: “I am delighted to welcome Alan as President of BVA Northern Ireland Branch.
"The work of BVA’s Branches is invaluable in representing the veterinary profession right across the UK, and many of the country’s animal health and welfare successes could not have been achieved without veterinary input and involvement. #
"As we head towards Brexit, it is vital that the veterinary voice is heard on border - and other issues that are unique to Northern Ireland within the UK.
“I would like to take this opportunity to also pay tribute to Jean Wales, who made an extremely valuable contribution to the BVA Northern Ireland Branch during her sadly brief time as president. I know that Alan will continue the effective working with government, industry, farmers and our other partners that is key to safeguarding animal health and protecting animal welfare in Northern Ireland.”
Alan began his veterinary career with a brief stint at a mixed practice in North Antrim before moving to Ballynure in 1981 to join the Clare Vet Group, where he was a partner and director until 2016 and where he continues to be a consultant.
Apart from a special interest in small animal dentistry and dairy cattle fertility, he has been involved with mentoring new assistants as well as school pupils keen to pursue a veterinary education, and forging a strong relationship with the local community through talks given to interested groups in the small animal and farm sectors.
Alongside his clinical work, Alan has played an active role in being a representative voice for the profession.
He is a former president of the Association of Veterinary Surgeons in Practice in Northern Ireland (AVSPNI), past chairman of the BSAVA, and has served on the boards of Veterinary Northern Ireland and the Veterinary Surgeons Supply Committee.
For more information about BVA Northern Ireland Branch or to contact a member of the BVA team, please visit https://www.bva.co.uk/About-BVA/Association/Northern-Ireland-Branch/