Fish and business expert Ronnie Soutar and AHVLA vet Rob Davies elected to Scottish and Welsh branches of the British Veterinary Association.

The Scottish and Welsh branches of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) have elected their new presidents.

Mr Soutar said the changing political scene in Scotland makes it a fascinating time for the country's profession.Ronnie Soutar, an independent consultant in aquaculture and veterinary business development, was elected president of the Scottish branch at the end of June and Rob Davies, a veterinary officer for the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, was elected as the Welsh president at the beginning of July.

Both branches contribute local knowledge and expertise into the wider lobbying and representational activities of the BVA, says the association, and in their roles as branch presidents, Mr Soutar and Mr Davies will promote the views of the veterinary profession to parliamentarians and media for two years.
Mr Soutar said: “It is a genuine honour to take over the presidency of Scottish branch, which has been taking an increasingly prominent role recently. The changing political scene in Scotland makes this a fascinating and important time for the profession here and I’m very glad to help our voice be heard. I will be working with the BVA officers and staff on ways in which we can further increase Scottish membership and more effectively gather the views of our members.”
Mr Davies, a vet with the AHVLA, said it was a great honour to be elected to president of the Welsh branch.Mr Davies said: “In the two years since it has been established, Welsh branch has been very successful in raising the profession’s profile within Wales, particularly with the Welsh Government. It is a great honour for me personally to be president at this exciting time for devolution and veterinary matters, and I look forward to being truly representative of all our members.”
BVA president Peter Jones welcomed both presidents. He said: “With animal health and welfare being dealt with individually in each of the devolved nations our branches are not only invaluable for the different areas of expertise they bring to the table but they also play a hugely important role when it comes to influencing politicians.
“In Ronnie we have a well-respected colleague who has been very effective as a member of the Scottish branch as well as within BVA’s veterinary policy group. It is fantastic to have him at the helm in Scotland.
“In my native Wales I am greatly looking forward to working with Rob. I’ve no doubt he will continue the work of his predecessor who reignited veterinary politics in Wales. I know Rob will be a tremendous advocate for the profession in Wales.”

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