Michael Day gave delegates a “sneak peak” at plans for his year at the helm of BSAVA as he was officially inaugurated as the association’s 56th president during Congress 2013.

Michael Day gave delegates a “sneak peak” at plans for his year at the helm of BSAVA as he was officially inaugurated as the association’s 56th president during Congress 2013.

Prof Day took on the role during the association’s annual general meeting on April 7, as previous post-holder Mark Johnston stepped down, becoming senior vice-president.

MichaelProf Day said he was “looking forward to the year enormously” and was “humbled” by the trust placed in him through his appointment as president.

A YEAR IN PREVIEW

Speaking of the year ahead, Prof Day said: “We have planned the first major membership survey for many years that we hope will give us direction and understanding of member needs for the future. A major upgraded IT system will shortly go live at Woodrow House and will revolutionise our communications with members.

Frances [Barr, BSAVA academic director] and her team will launch new programmes in our highly successful PGCert portfolio to complement the existing medicine and surgery certificates. We will continue to explore how we best deliver postgraduate education to the profession and whether this might be through development of a BSAVA Education Centre distinct from our existing facility at Woodrow House. 

“In publications, Greg Moxon [head of publishing] and his team will implement a new platform that will offer a fully integrated multimedia vehicle for delivery of the BSAVA ‘knowledge vault’ in an exciting 21st century fashion.

“Amanda Stranack [head of congress] and the congress team have already developed fresh approaches and strategies which will ensure that BSAVA Congress remains the premier international small animal meeting. Many of these, including new opportunities for our valued sponsors and exhibitors, will be apparent at Congress 2014.”

GLOBAL THEME

New presidents are often asked if they have a particular “theme or focus” for their term of office, and Prof Day said his personal wish was to have BSAVA consider taking a more global outlook

He explained: “BSAVA has been an inordinately successful national body, but our educational and scientific portfolio has much to offer the wider world. Entry on to the world stage may have clear commercial benefits, but I also particularly believe that we should develop a parallel altruistic ethos. As a first stage to this new direction we are shortly to introduce a free online membership for veterinarians in developing countries; sharing elements of our knowledge vault with those who could most benefit.”

POLITICAL (SMALL) ANIMAL

Looking at the ability of the BSAVA to maintain a political voice and to ensure that the association is represented at key meetings discussing small animal issues, Prof Day said the appointment of scientific policy officer Sally Everitt has had “incredible impact”. 

He said: “BSAVA now has a seat on the newly convened Canine and Feline Sector Group of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England, and officers, Sally, the scientific committee and our affiliate groups will continue to work with BVA and the BVA divisions to ensure a voice in small animal matters. 

Prof Day said there were many such issues to address in the coming year, including:

  • the lead-up to compulsory microchipping in 2016
  • the welfare of pedigree dogs and exotic pets
  • broadening of practice standards to consider standards of care
  • illegal importation of puppies
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • disease risks associated with travelling pets

He said: “Addressing many of these issues necessitates having a strong scientific evidence base and the association is now well placed to deliver this knowledge through our investment in the SAVSNET project [the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network]. The BSAVA-SAVSNET team is now in place and during the coming year we anticipate the first tangible outcomes from the project.”

Concluding, he said: “I am looking forward to a busy and rewarding year… Let the challenge begin!”

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