Our council

Northern Ireland regional representative

The BVA Council regional representative for Northern Ireland is Joleen Little.

Members in the Northern Ireland can contact Joleen via email: [email protected].

Joleen Little

There are many changes and challenges faced by the veterinary profession in Northern Ireland at present which is putting vets under extra pressure and stress. The changes in trade, veterinary medicines, and the movement of pets and livestock are examples which are all subsequent to Brexit. It is something that the BVA can help support their NI members with and I believe I can contribute to the furtherance of BVA’s mission to be the leading body representing, supporting, and championing the whole UK veterinary profession, through engagement with members here in Northern Ireland.

I feel it is important to be open and available for members to contact the representative to pass on their concerns. My compassionate and understanding nature should stand me in good stead. I wish to build on the good work previous representatives have done.

I have worked in several small animal practices here in Northern Ireland over a period of 18 years. I spent a year working in veterinary recruitment before joining the VetNI team in May as a Policy Officer. VetNI are the secretariat for the two veterinary associations here: NIVA and AVSPNI. Through this work I have developed good connections and a grasp of important issues affecting vets in Northern Ireland. One of the pressing issues I have been dealing with here is recruitment and retention. I will be addressing this as part of a long-term strategy within our team and with my experience in this field, I aim to bring as much knowledge and information together through evidence gathering and research. Mental health issues are hugely important to me having personally experienced difficulties in my early career and as such I have been a Kite ambassador and a big advocate for more open dialogue and discussions.

I write articles for The Veterinary Edge magazine on topics such as difficult decision making, burnout and compassion fatigue to name a few. Alongside my work, I have a passion for sport and played Rugby for Ireland gaining half a dozen caps. I have long held the opinion that this experience shaped my professional career by giving me a tenacious and disciplined mindset to never give up and follow my passion and aspirations for the veterinary industry.