New BVA president wants profession that’s open to all

New BVA president wants profession that’s open to all

The new British Veterinary Association president has pledged to champion a modern, accessible profession for everyone during her year in office.

Dr Anna Judson BVSc MSc MRCVS was elected at the organisation’s Members’ Day in Glasgow on September 28.

A 1987 graduate of Liverpool Vet School, Dr Judson’s veterinary career has included ownership of both mixed and small animal practices in rural mid Wales. She is a Past President of the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS), has an MSc in Nature Conservation, and has led UK-wide veterinary sustainability initiatives.

In her first speech as President, Sussex-based Dr Judson introduced her presidential theme, ‘A profession for everyone’.

Addressing members, she said: “Being a vet is incredibly rewarding, and I want more people to experience what is a true vocation. We need to build a thriving profession, we need one that attracts and holds onto our people, one that provides the right care at the right time to our patients, and one that contributes positively, rather than impacting on, the planet we share with other animals. We must ask ourselves difficult questions about what we could be doing differently to bring about positive change.

BVA’s Good Veterinary Workplace initiative is already helping practices to build a more flexible, inclusive and sustainable profession of which we can all be proud. My theme will accelerate that progress, with BVA taking practical steps to support vet teams to build workplaces where everyone can thrive. Creating good veterinary workplaces is vital to the future of the profession, which in turn is good for animal welfare and sustainability.

“I am confident that together we can continue to build a modern, accessible profession for everyone. One that cares about and advocates for good animal welfare, that provides a rewarding career for all those who seek to be part of it, and one that takes action to protect the planet and its incredible ecosystem that makes this all possible.”

Dr Judson also underlined that ensuring BVA members’ voices are heard as part of the recently launched Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review would be a big priority during her presidential year and urged vets to share inputs directly with the CMA and with BVA.

She said: “It’s important for us all to recognise that the outcome may have far-reaching consequences, not just for companion animal vet teams but across the profession more broadly. Although undoubtedly challenging, we see the review as an opportunity to shine a light on the highly skilled and compassionate work that vets and vet teams deliver day in, day out for animals and their clients across the UK. It’s a chance to demonstrate our value and reset the damaging narrative in the media around costs of veterinary care, something that BVA has been tirelessly challenging over the last twelve months since the cost-of-living crisis took hold.”

Read Dr Judson’s speech in full here.