The British Veterinary Association (BVA) Welsh Branch has elected Dr Neil Paton as its new President, to act as the principal representative of BVA Welsh Branch in relation to veterinary matters.
Dr Paton, elected by the Welsh Branch at their AGM on 16 May 2015, said: “I am very pleased to have been elected as President by my colleagues and I’m extremely grateful to Rob Davies, our BVA Welsh Branch President for the last two years, for everything he has achieved.
“I have been a member of BVA since graduation and have been involved in the Welsh Branch council since its inception, when I arrived in Wales. I am also the new Chair of the South Wales practitioner group, and since 2010 I’ve also enjoyed being a lecturer in farm animal health and production for the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) based in Wales.
“We are proud of the progress we have made in Wales, and I look forward to working with Rob and Sarah Carr, our new Junior Vice President, as well as the BVA team, to achieve as much as we can for the veterinary profession and animal welfare in Wales. We want to build on the good relationships we have with the Welsh Government to ensure this country maintains the highest standards of welfare for all animals.”
Congratulating Dr Paton on his election, BVA President John Blackwell added: “I am delighted to welcome Neil as our new Welsh Branch President and know that Rob Davies, our BVA Welsh Branch President for the last two years, is passing the baton to very safe hands.
“Our branches are vital in safeguarding animal welfare and representing the views of veterinary surgeons in the devolved nations, where animal health and welfare are the responsibility of the individual nation.
“The Welsh Branchbring their invaluable expertise to discussions about relevant animal, agricultural and veterinary policy in Wales, as well as playing a hugely important role when it comes to influencing politicians.
“We are keen to work with governments in both Cardiff and Westminster to allow our members to continue their good work wherever they are.”
Mr Blackwell also mentioned BVA and BVA Welsh Branch support for the recently announced Rural Development Plan and Strategic Framework for Welsh Agriculture, as well as the introduction of compulsory microchipping of dogs in Wales in Spring 2016 and vets’ work in raising awareness with clients. He also referred to the continued commitment of BVA and BVA Welsh Branch to end non-stun slaughter in the UK.
In the last year, BVA and BVA Welsh Branch have worked productively together regarding the new Veterinary Science Centre and innovations in disease surveillance in Wales. More successes and progress in Wales has been made on a number of key issues including the Welsh Government introducing the Control of Horses Act introduced in 2014, to improve horse welfare and fly-grazing. This is now being followed in England by a similar Act that came into force in May.