Farm vet James Russell has been elected president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) for 2020/21.
He graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2002, after which he went on to complete a post-graduate diploma in production animal and livestock medicine. He has over 17 years’ experience working in mixed practice and became an independent veterinary consultant in 2018 after eight years as director at a large veterinary practice.
A highlight of Mr Russell’s year as BVA junior vice president (2019/2020) has been his role in developing and launching a comprehensive new bovine tuberculosis (bTB) policy position. The updated policy applies new and emerging evidence to set out a holistic roadmap to help eradicate and control one of the UK’s most challenging animal health and welfare issues.
Mr Russell said: “I feel humbled and thrilled to be entering into my presidential year at this crucial time for our profession. My year as junior vice president has definitely not reflected the advert – be prepared to be away from home quite a bit, but don’t worry the events make up for it – but it has been a privilege and a steep learning curve.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, as an association we were able to draw on the breadth and depth of experience within our small team to respond with agility and accuracy to often very challenging situations.”
He added: “I am deeply enthused to be working to take forward BVA’s Good Workplace position over the next year. Reducing the leaks in the bucket of our profession and helping others to find fulfilment in their work are massively important to me, especially as we recognise the new and amplified mental health challenges facing the profession as we adapt to new ways of working.”