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Winchester vet David Harwood receives the John Bleby Cup for contribution to BVA Council

Winchester vet David Harwood was announced as the winner of this year’s John Bleby Cup, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the British Veterinary Association (BVA) Council, at BVA's Members' Day in York.

David qualified from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in 1974 and worked as a veterinary investigation officer and pathologist for 30 years based at the APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency, formerly the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency) in Carmarthen and Winchester.

Since retiring he has been working as a visiting Reader in Veterinary Field Pathology at the Surrey Vet School, and also lectures to undergraduate students at the RVC and Liverpool Vet School. He is a past president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association, and is currently chairman of the Goat Veterinary Society (GVS), and Honorary Veterinarian to the British Goat Society

David joined BVA Council as the GVS representative in 2013, and since then has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the way in which high profile priority issues such as bTB, antimicrobial resistance, scanning surveillance, and welfare at slaughter, impact on the goat sector is always recognised. Most recently David took the lead on the development of a joint BVA/GVS position on goat kid disbudding and analgesia, which was commended by both BVA’s Ethics and Welfare Advisory Panel, and Policy Committee, and subsequently supported by BVA Council.

On hearing of his award, David said:

“I am honoured to have been given this award, particularly as it highlights one of the smaller BVA specialist divisions, the Goat Veterinary Society, that I represent on council.  Goats are recognised as a minor species, and GVS this year has considered and developed position statements on the important issues of antimicrobial resistance and analgesia at the time of kid disbudding, both of which are complicated by the lack of products with a marketing authorisation for use in goats.”

David also brought his wealth of experience to the BVA Surveillance Working Group, as representative for the ruminant divisions, and in doing was instrumental in the development of the BVA position on this critical subject.

BVA president John Fishwick said:

“David has made an outstanding contribution to BVA Council. We are very grateful for all of his work representing the Goat sector and for his vital input in developing our vision for how animal disease surveillance in the UK should look. The joint position David helped us to develop on goat disbudding will improve welfare for kid goats across the UK and is an important step in BVA’s Animal Welfare Strategy.”

David is the author of “Goat Health and Welfare - a Veterinary Guide”, and co-author of the new text “Goat Medicine and Surgery”. His autobiography “Rural Tranquillity to National Crisis” has also been published.


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