New president elected for BVA Northern Ireland Branch and the North of Ireland Veterinary Association

07 February 2019

The Northern Ireland Branch of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the North of Ireland Veterinary Association (NIVA) have jointly elected Aurelie Moralis as their new President at a joint annual general meeting, held at the Galgorm Resort & Spa on Wednesday evening.

Having served a year as BVA Junior Vice President (JVP), Aurelie will succeed Alan Gordon as BVA Northern Ireland Branch President, whilst she continues to work as National Veterinary Manager for the Zoetis Livestock Team in the Republic of Ireland. At the joint AGM, NIVA also elected Aurelie as incoming president for 2019. NIVA represents the interests and collective voice of all sectors within the local veterinary profession which include practice, government, research, industry and academia.

Aurelie said: 
“I am excited about my double role as President of BVA Northern Ireland Branch and of NIVA, particularly at a time where Brexit negotiations put vets at the centre of a shifting landscape here in Northern Ireland. I aim to utilise my experience working for a large animal health company in the UK and Republic of Ireland to help me provide an informed approach to any issues during my term.

“I am looking forward to working with BVA and local veterinary colleagues to provide a strong voice for our vets in Northern Ireland. For NIVA, I plan to follow on from the 2018 vision of ‘Recruitment, Retention and Relationships’ addressing the recruitment and workforce problems that have been challenging Northern Ireland recently and the potential increased pressure due to the unknowns of future EU vets in the UK. 

“I will continue lobbying on behalf of our members for the UK Government to recognise existing Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualification (MRPQ) legislation through a transitional arrangement to mitigate against a sudden reduction in the veterinary workforce after March 2019.

“In terms of relationships, I want to reach out to stakeholders in the agri-food industry. This would be with the view to work together on complex issues affecting the industry such as antimicrobial resistance, sustainable farming practices and animal welfare. I also want to reach out to our colleagues across the border and ensure we continue to communicate in a productive manner moving forward.  Being part of a continuously evolving industry, it is important for us to have a clear understanding of what is happening on the horizon, so we can be ready to step up for the profession when required.”

Congratulating Aurelie on her election, BVA President Simon Doherty said:
“It is my pleasure to welcome Aurelie as President of BVA Northern Ireland Branch. Her skills and enthusiasm for the role will make her a great figurehead for the team. The work of BVA’s Branches is essential in representing the veterinary profession in the devolved nations, where animal health and welfare are devolved. Northern Ireland’s vets have made huge contributions to shaping policy in the last few years including contributing to public consultations and public enquiries such as the Northern Ireland agricultural framework. I know Aurelie will be successful in continuing to work closely with Government, industry, farmers and vets.”

Aurelie graduated from the University of Ghent in Belgium in 2002 and moved to Northern Ireland to work in farm and mixed animal practice for a further 12 years. She then joined Zoetis, one of the largest global health companies, working as a veterinary consultant for them in both Northern Ireland and Northern England and currently in the Republic of Ireland. Aurelie has been a council member of NIVA since 2015. 

She will be joined on the BVA Northern Ireland branch team by succeeding JVP and fellow NIVA council member, Susan Cunningham. Susan qualified from Cambridge University Veterinary School and comes to the team with a varied veterinary background of working for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in north Antrim and the RSPCA in Hong Kong.

As part of the network of devolved and specialist divisions, BVA Branches contribute local knowledge and expertise to BVA’s wider lobbying and representational activities. Recently, the BVA Northern Ireland Branch has helped progress a range of issues including providing evidence for Brexit lobbying activity at senior political levels, submitting recommendations to DAERA to support eradication of Bovine Tuberculosis, responding to the Northern Ireland Agricultural framework and feeding into both the BVA farm assurance and education working groups.

BVA Media Office