A Northumberland vet has been honoured with a prestigious award in recognition of his dedication to and valuable work for the British Veterinary Association Council during his years of service.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) announced the winners of its four prestigious veterinary achievement awards at its annual Members’ Day, held this year at Clare College, University of Cambridge. The annual awards recognise the exceptional commitment, work and achievements of vets from across the profession. Paul Freeman, from Northumberland, was presented with the John Bleby Cup during the ceremony.

This is the thirteenth year that the John Bleby Cup has been presented. The award was given by John Bleby to the Association after a remarkable 42 years on BVA Council representing Central Veterinary Society. It is given to the BVA Council member selected by BVA Officers for their outstanding contribution. This year the Cup was presented to Paul Freeman in recognition of his dedication to and valuable work for the Council during his years of service.

Paul, who graduated from Liverpool in 1978, worked in a large mixed practice in Northumberland for more than 30 years, including time spent as partner and director. Now retired, he has represented the North-East of England on BVA Council since 2018, is involved with the North of England Veterinary Association and is now a trustee of Vetlife, having started volunteering for the charity 13 years ago.

He said: “Being awarded the Bleby Cup in recognition of my contribution to Council is indeed an honour, but this contribution has been greatly facilitated by feedback and input I’ve received from members of my territorial division, the North of England Veterinary Association. Having retired from practice in Northumberland five years ago, I have enjoyed the opportunity that BVA Council membership gives me to maintain links with the veterinary profession, and hopefully play a small part in helping it meet the numerous challenges that it has faced in recent years.”

Outgoing BVA President Justine Shotton said: “Congratulations to all five winners. These highly sought-after awards shine a well-deserved light on an exceptional group of veterinary professionals, who each in their own field and practice, have helped propel the veterinary profession forward. Congratulations to you all on behalf of everyone at BVA.”

Other awards presented today include the BVA’s most prestigious scientific award, the Dalrymple-Champneys Cup and Medal along with the Chiron Award and Harry Steele-Bodger Scholarships.

This year’s other winners are:

  • Dalrymple-Champneys Cup and Medal – Professor Tim Greet, equine surgery specialist
  • Chiron Award – Dr David McKeown, farm and mixed practice vet, Veterinary Defence Society Member Services Director and mental health volunteer with Vetlife, VetSupport and the Samaritans
  • Harry Steele-Bodger Scholarships – recent veterinary graduate from the University of Edinburgh Dr Rosa Loedel and University of Cambridge student Annabelle Lack

BVA Members’ Day and AGM is an annual event which includes the awards ceremony and the election of BVA’s President, Senior Vice President and Junior Vice President.

The BVA Member Survey 2022 is live until 3 October 2022, offering every BVA member the chance to help shape the future of BVA. The survey takes just 15 minutes to complete using the unique link sent to members via email. The results will be used to help BVA deliver the best possible support to the profession.