The British Veterinary Association (BVA) Scottish Branch has elected Grace Webster as its new president.

BVA Scottish Branch president Grace Webster

Ms Webster, who is also senior vice-president of the Pig Veterinary Society, was elected by the Scottish branch at its annual meeting on May 13.

During her term as president, Ms Webster will be the principal representative of BVA’s Scottish Branch in relation to veterinary matters.

As part of the network of regional and specialist divisions, the branches in the devolved administrations contribute local knowledge and expertise into the wider lobbying and representational activities of the veterinary association.

In the past year, BVA and BVA Scottish Branch have worked with the Scottish Government to secure improved rates for official veterinarians in Scotland.

The groups say they played a key role in the government’s decision to carry out a review of the trade in exotic animals as pets and the introduction of compulsory microchipping for dogs from Spring 2016.

In the coming year the groups will work together on issues ranging from the need for a new slaughter facility at Forfar to prevent unnecessary long-distance transport of cull sows, to ensuring Scotland’s ban on tail docking dogs remains in place.

Ms Webster said: “I am so pleased to have been elected as president of BVA Scottish Branch by my colleagues and I am extremely grateful to Ronnie Soutar, our senior vice-president, for everything he has achieved this year.

“We want to maintain the very positive relationship we have with the Scottish Government and build on those successes, as well as tackling challenges ahead. I encourage all BVA members in Scotland to contact us and engage with us to ensure we know their views and represent them.

“We are proud of BVA’s ongoing commitment to its members in Scotland and welcome its support for further engagement between branch and key Scottish stakeholders.”

Congratulating Ms Webster on her election, BVA president John Blackwell said: “BVA’s branches are vital in safeguarding animal welfare and representing the views of veterinary surgeons in the devolved nations, where animal health and welfare are the responsibility of the individual nation.

“The work of the Scottish Branch, and Grace and her colleagues, brings invaluable expertise to discussions about relevant animal, agricultural and veterinary policy in Scotland, as well as playing a hugely important role when it comes to influencing politicians.

“I am delighted to welcome Grace as president and know she will help take forward the successes of the last year. Ronnie and Grace, together with Kathleen Robertson as the regional representative for Scotland on BVA council, will be a team to be reckoned with in the nicest possible way.”

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