John Blackwell's Blog


My meeting with James Herriot – the vet who inspired so many

Posted on October 03, 2016 by John Blackwell

When I was 11 my family moved out of the urban sprawl into a small village on the outskirts of Wrexham. Part-time jobs doing paper rounds and milk delivery were not easy to come by - even if back in the day you didn’t need to be a minimum age of 14 to work. Instead casual work was obtained on the many small farms, meaning this ‘townie’ soon found himself mucking out pigs and collecting eggs.


Helping vets and emergency services respond to animal rescues

Posted on September 16, 2016 by John Blackwell

Last week I was both honoured and indeed humbled to be nominated for Vet of the Year at the Animal Hero Awards 2016, hosted jointly by the RSPCA and Trinity Mirror Group. The nomination, which was completely out of the blue, was due to my involvement over the years with large animal rescue.


What's the role of the vet in a world that eats less meat?

Posted on November 26, 2015 by John Blackwell

I’m a vet who has spent years working with farmers, focused on the welfare of livestock, so the current focus and, arguably, societal pressure to eat less meat poses some thought-provoking questions.


Responsible use of antimicrobials: we all have a part to play

Posted on November 11, 2015 by John Blackwell

Responsible use of medicines is this month’s hot topic, with particular reference to the use of antimicrobials as we head towards European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) on 18 November.


The President and the press

Posted on September 18, 2015 by John Blackwell

I’m starting to reflect on the year, the challenges that have come onto the horizon, and one such challenge that the President is involved in week-in-and-week-out is dealing with the media.


Do you know someone who could be our future President?

Posted on August 13, 2015 by John Blackwell

It seems like two minutes ago that I took a phone call from Peter Jones, the then President of BVA, to ask me if I would accept the nomination from the Electoral College to stand for the position of Junior Vice President


Veterinary Nurses (Protection of Title) Bill - fingers crossed for tomorrow's ballot

Posted on May 27, 2015 by John Blackwell

Veterinary Nurses (Protection of Title) Bill - fingers crossed for the ballot of the House of Lords taking place tomorrow afternoon.


Update on Veterinary Delivery Partnership subcontractor arrangements

Posted on April 14, 2015 by John Blackwell

I  have today emailed members with an update giving further information on  the VDP arrangements. Those members who practise in Wales and wish to subcontract are now likely to have signed contracts. Potential subcontractors in England will be receiving their contracts imminently.


IVOC 2015: the future of the profession

Posted on April 10, 2015 by John Blackwell

Recently I attended this year’s meeting of the International Veterinary Officers Coalition (IVOC), hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association in Las Vegas. A key theme discussed was the future of the veterinary profession.


Gearing up for our e-petition debate in Westminster

Posted on February 20, 2015 by John Blackwell

The HM Government e-petition set up last April has surpassed the requisite 100,000 signatures in January and a debate has been secured in Westminster Hall on this very issue next Monday (23 February).


A manifesto for all of us

Posted on February 09, 2015 by John Blackwell

This week we hosted a very successful BVA London Dinner, which affords us a platform to engage and discuss key issues. A generous helping of MPs from across the political spectrum attended along with many of the leaders of the various stakeholders from government departments, animal welfare organisations, and the wider food, agri, and medicines industries.


Another year over, a new one just about to begin

Posted on December 19, 2014 by John Blackwell

I can’t believe that 2014 is almost over, and I can’t believe I have been in post as your proud President for almost 3 months.


What does the future hold for the veterinary profession?

Posted on December 11, 2014 by John Blackwell

“Time flies when you’re having fun” or so the adage goes, and that is certainly true when you fill your day with BVA business.


Antibiotics, slaughter, and Ebola – all part of the new job....

Posted on October 16, 2014 by John Blackwell

Just coming to the end of my first two weeks in office as I head home before going just up the road to the BVNA Congress in Telford.