Outgoing BSAVA president Ed Hall kicked off proceedings at the 2009 BSAVA Congress in Birmingham by wishing everybody an “exceptional and enjoyable educational experience”.

Mr Hall told delegates: “When I took on the Presidential role almost one year ago I said I would ‘look forward to welcoming you back to our 52nd Annual Congress’. Thus it is now my great pleasure to greet all of you and to wish you an exceptional and enjoyable educational experience. The scientific programme remains at the core of Congress, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun at the same time.

BSAVA president Ed Hall Mr Hall was keen to focus on some of the highlights that were unique to Congress 2009.

He said: “In addition to over 200 scientific lectures provided by more than 100 speakers, including 25 international speakers, there is the opportunity to attend additional meetings. There has already been a lively and topical debate this morning on the issue of pedigree dog breeding with the two protagonists, Chris Laurence and Steve Dean, agreeing to disagree.

“Other additions to the programme include a stream on communication in practice, opportunities to learn more about suicide in the profession from Dave Bartram and how to survive the credit crunch from the respected business guru, Karen Felsted, and also a chance to meet the RCVS and VMD on Saturday in a Masterclass on the Practice Standards Scheme and practice registration for the supply of medicines.

“However, perhaps the most unique event occurs tomorrow morning in Austin Court, with a joint BSAVA/BVA symposium on the PETS travel scheme. Speakers include the Chief Veterinary Officer and a representative of the Health Protection Agency plus three eminent scientists in the field, whilst decision-makers in both UK and European veterinary politics have been invited to attend. This is perhaps our last chance to be heard before the EU decides on whether to end the UK’s rabies derogation in 2010.”

Concluding, he said: “Even in 2009 there are endless opportunities for delegates to learn new things and to enjoy themselves. So I trust the next four days will be the best BSAVA Congress ever for all of you… until next year.”

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