Our council

North West region

Kate Higgins

Having loved every moment of my past 3 years on the BVA Council, I am delighted to continue in this role.

With a career rooted in small animal practice, and as the owner of an independent practice near Liverpool, I bring first-hand experience and understanding of the challenges facing our profession. Over the past three years, I’ve actively participated in Council meetings, contributing to debates which steer BVA policy positions and feed back to the Board and Policy Committee. Representing the views of our region, I have ensured that the voices of local members are heard and valued within Council discussions.

As a practice owner, I am particularly passionate about advocating for vet-owned and led independent practices but have always taken care to represent views of those across the profession. Having juggled raising my own family and tackling my own health challenges, I’m passionate about equality and inclusivity and am dedicated to ensuring equal opportunities for all members to contribute within the profession and to the BVA's work. I’ve been proud of how the BVA have supported the profession through COVID-19 and Brexit, as well as more recent challenges such as the changes in Under Care guidance, and I remain committed to contributing to policy discussions and advocating for a new Veterinary Surgeons Act.

Addressing mental health challenges and supporting young graduates transitioning into practice as well as tackling overall workforce shortages remain top priorities, and I’m optimistic The Good Veterinary Workplace guidance can be pivotal in this. It’s been encouraging to see the progress made on issues like non-stun slaughter, sustainable use of parasiticides, “Green Team Vet”, and canine breeding clinics, all of which I look forward to continuing to champion in the coming years as there is much work still to be done. The recent addition of the XL bully breed to breed specific legislation and the CMA consultation pose ongoing challenges for the profession as a whole, and I’m ready to continue tackling these head-on. I believe in the positive impact of educating pet owners, and I see the BVA playing a crucial role in disseminating the right messages to a broader audience. This communication is vital in helping build trust between the public and the profession when certain sectors of the media seem so set on tearing us down at every opportunity. I’ve been astounded by the work invested by the BVA team in each statement and policy position and am eager to continue contributing to the BVA's mission, supporting Council in representing members' views, and actively engaging with the veterinary community in our region.

Quickfire Q&A

  • Discipline: Small animal GP and practice owner
  • University: RVC
  • Favourite animal: I do love birds, and do a little bit of work for a local wetland centre. Flamingos are one of my very favourites and I’ve been lucky enough to look after a few of them in the past couple of years.
  • What made you want to become a vet? I’m one of those who can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else from as soon as I knew what a vet was. Reading James Herriott as a child definitely helped cement my idea that it was the best job in the world, and I still think it is!
  • What’s an interesting fact about yourself? I have a penchant for 90s pop music and a brain that seems to prefer retaining song lyrics over useful facts and figures. I once even won a quiz by performing the entire of Vanilla Ice’s Ice, Ice Baby from memory on stage.
  • What is your favourite BVA member benefit/ reason you’re a member? I love learning and networking so BVA Live is a huge attraction for me. As a practice owner, I also regularly find myself referring to BVA policy positions and guidance and other practice management resources. Since being a rep I’ve developed a better understanding of the amount of work that goes into producing these - they are fantastic, well-researched resources.

Get in touch with your North West regional representative on BVA Council