Dogs Trust Executive receives BVA Award for contributions in the developing world

21 September 2017

Dr Karen Reed was announced as the winner of the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) Trevor Blackburn Award in recognition of her multiple outstanding contributions to animal health, animal welfare and community livelihood support in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East as part of the Awards Ceremony at BVA Members’ Day in Belfast today (21 September).

Karen’s work has encompassed front-line engagement in many differing capacities and settings. This has included general practice in North Yorkshire and farm animal practice in Herefordshire; voluntary service in Nepal and Jordan; field-based research to improve the health and productivity of Bedouin sheep flocks in Jordan; being a core technical contributor to the development of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) global welfare standards for working equines; and her current role as Executive Director of Dogs Trust Worldwide, where she is responsible for spearheading a programme to promote responsible dog ownership through sharing best practice globally.

Upon graduating from the Royal Veterinary College in 1987, Karen spent three years teaching animal health and husbandry in Nepal before returning to the UK to undertake an MSc in tropical veterinary medicine in Edinburgh, which she completed with distinction. She then worked with the Overseas Development Administration (now DfID) in Jordan, Society for Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA) as Veterinary Director, and Brooke as Head of Animal Welfare, before taking up her current role at Dogs Trust. Karen has been a longstanding member and Chair of BVA’s former Overseas Group, a current member of BVA’s Ethics and Welfare Advisory Panel, and a founder member and Director of Vetwork UK.

In giving this award, BVA Overseas Group recognises the impact of Karen’s work in improving animal health and welfare and the lives of communities worldwide who rely on animals for their livelihoods- through direct provision of animal health, local animal health care service development, community engagement to build animal husbandry and welfare capacity, and international animal welfare advocacy. Karen’s key role in driving the process of successful adoption of the OIE global standards for working equine welfare by 180 member states last year and building a coalition with other equine NGOs to further support OIE member states with implementation of the standards is a shining example of her legacy of impact.

On learning that the BVA Overseas Group had awarded her this year’s Trevor Blackburn Award, Karen commented:

“I was so surprised and proud on hearing that I was to receive the Trevor Blackburn award, and very honoured to sit alongside those who have previously received it. Having met Trevor way back when I was first going overseas to work, and in this year when, sadly, Trevor’s wife Mary passed away, I feel the responsibility keenly to share this award with all the members of this great profession who work to improve animal health and welfare globally. I have had, and continue to have, many great colleagues and mentors, both here in the UK and overseas, who have helped instil in me an understanding of the wider global importance of one health and one welfare.  

“I feel very privileged to be a vet who still enjoys a very varied career; I have loved all of my roles, working with different animal species, in different countries and with different cultures. I hope to continue to promote the veterinary family globally as well as supporting the BVA to maintain an international outlook.” 

BVA Media Office