Distinguished farm animal vet awarded prestigious BVA honour

20 September 2018

Renowned Hertfordshire-based large animal (production) vet Dr Anthony Andrews was today (20 September) announced as the recipient of the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) prestigious Chiron Award, in recognition of his distinctive contributions to farm animal veterinary medicine and the profession at large in a career spanning more than 50 years.

The Chiron Award recognises lifetime achievements in veterinary science or outstanding services to the profession, judged in either case as being of a calibre commanding international or inter-professional recognition.

A former director of the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture alliance (RUMA), past president of the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) and former Chairman of Goat Veterinary Society (GVS), Dr Andrews has been instrumental in advancing expertise and specialism in the ruminant sector. He helped establish officially recognised specialisms in the ruminant species in both the UK and Europe, and his work on determining the age of cattle based on dentition became an essential part of controls during the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) crisis in the late 1990s. His book ‘Bovine Medicine’ (published 1992) remains one of the few authoritative textbooks on the subject in the UK. 

Dr Andrews began his career as a mixed animal vet after graduating from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in 1965, before undertaking the Royal Smithfield Club Fellowship to study of the development of dentition in cattle, for which he was awarded a PhD degree. He then worked in the Veterinary Department of the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC), where his responsibilities included the animal health, management and veterinary policy for various MLC cattle units and cattle projects.

Dr Andrews has been Chair of Examiners for the very first RCVS Certificate and Diploma examinations for cattle and helped set up the European College of Bovine Health Management (ECBHM), being made a de facto Diplomate in recognition of his work. He was a founding Diplomate of the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management

In 1979, he returned to the RVC as Senior Lecturer in Farm Animal Medicine, a post that he held till 1997, when he took on the mantle of independent veterinary consultant. Over the course of his distinguished career, Dr Andrews has published over 130 scientific papers on subjects ranging from tooth anomalies and warble fly to ruminant diseases, preventive medicine, and farm assurance in the major farm species. He has also authored or co-edited over 15 books and chaired several major BVA committees.

On hearing that he was the recipient of this year’s Chiron Award, Dr Andrews said: “I was surprised, delighted and am humbled to receive the Chiron Award.  I must thank the BVA, its Nominations and Awards Committee and its exceptional President, John Fishwick, for presenting me with this honour.

“Looking back over my life and career, I have been fortunate enough to receive help from a multitude people, in fact, many thousands, within the profession and in many other walks of life, who have assisted me in so many different ways. I owe them all a deep sense of gratitude. I send them all my very best wishes and I hope that they will take the credit for this award. All have helped me achieve my childhood ambition to work with and hopefully help animals during the whole of my professional life.”

Reading out the citation for the award at BVA Members’ Day in York today, outgoing BVA President John Fishwick said: “There are few farm animal veterinary surgeons or veterinary organisations in the UK who have not had cause to be grateful to Dr Andrews for his input and influence on the profession. He has a reputation for being someone who is always willing to help and support those who ask for assistance and he is never afraid to speak up for what he believes is right and proper. His opinions are always well informed and measured.

“It gives me great personal pleasure to present this year’s Chiron Award to Dr Andrews.”

BVA Media Office