Veterinary legend David honoured with OBE

Veterinary legend David honoured with OBE

Northern Ireland veterinary legend David McKeown has been awarded an OBE in the recent King’s Birthday Honours, the culmination of a career spanning 52 years that his seen him meander through mixed practice and dairy practice in north Co. Antrim, followed by a few decades working for the VDS.

The honour comes just two years after he was the recipient of the prestigious BVA Chiron Award in 2022.

Speaking of this latest honour David said: “To think that I am held in such esteem by those colleagues to be nominated for such a fabulous award is humbling to say the least.

“My meandering and connected careers would not have been possible without the support of my wife Edith and my family, Lynn, Peter, Brian and Colin, who tolerated, accommodated, fashioned and sometimes had to curtail my inbuilt enthusiasm.”

The VDS part of David’s career and its ethos of support, stimulated an interest in the mental health pressures of veterinary life, which in turn led to him training and volunteering with both Vetlife and Samaritans for the past 15 years.

Showing no signs of retirement, David’s latest project, in addition to his continued volunteering, is acting as the chair of Vet Support

Alongside a dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers he provides peer support and coaching to any members of the veterinary profession who are struggling with stress, anxiety or the inability to cope for whatever reason.

Unlike Vetlife’s Helpline, Vet Support is not an emergency 24/7 service. It is a non-urgent service and is available to all throughout the UK and Ireland.

Another initiative in which David is involved is with Belfast Veterinary Care – a new independent referral clinic off the West Link in Belfast.