A MID Devon vet has been unveiled as the winner of the British Veterinary Association’s most prestigious scientific award at its annual Members’ Day, held on September 28 at Trades Hall in Glasgow.

The awards recognise the exceptional commitment, work and achievements of vets from across the profession and include the BVA Advancement of Veterinary Science Award (Dalrymple-Champneys Cup and Medal), which recognises outstanding contributions that have helped advance veterinary science.

This year, it is awarded to Dr Richard Sibley, who is better known as Dick Sibley, for his role as an inspirational mentor and teacher to younger vets, as well as his scientific research which has done so much to improve herd health.  

Dr Sibley, who lives in Mid Devon, graduated from Bristol University in 1977.

In 1981 he joined a small, rural practice in Devon where he teamed up with the late David Temple, "an inspirational cattle vet".

After encouragement from Dr Temple, Dr Sibley joined the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA), going on to become secretary and president.

Previously involved in the national management of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), he now maintains an interest in national disease control programmes by being on the DEFRA TB Partnership and the National Johnes Action Group.

He is also the Director and Principal of West Ridge Veterinary Practice, an independent mixed practice based in Witheridge in Mid Devon.

Dr Sibley said: “I am honoured and flattered to be presented with the Dalrymple-Champneys' cup.

"I look at previous winners and am in awe that I have been added to this list of great names in the profession.

"I am particularly honoured to be associated with the Dalrymple-Champneys' name, as he built his reputation on preventive medicine, and particularly the management and control of brucellosis and tuberculosis, with particular interest in the milk industry.

"I am indebted to all those who inspire, energise and enthuse me, including my great friends, Joe Brownlie and Peter Orpin, as well as my colleagues at West Ridge Veterinary Practice, who embrace the culture of the practice and enthusiastically provide the day-to-day service for our valued clients.”

Outgoing British Veterinary Association President Malcolm Morley said: “This year’s BVA achievements awards spotlight an inspirational group of veterinary professionals, whose hard work, dedication and talent have in a variety of ways helped advance veterinary science and the profession or improved the lives of animals across the UK, and in many cases all three. I congratulate and thank them on behalf of the team at BVA and the profession for their outstanding work.”

This year’s other awards and winners are:

· BVA Outstanding Service Award (Chiron Award): Dr Jane Ladlow

· BVA Council Impact Award (John Bleby Cup): Dr Elysé Summerfield-Smith

· BVA Research Travel Scholarship (Harry Steele-Bodger Scholarship): Dr Kimberly Tam

· BVA Animal Health and Welfare Overseas Award (J. Trevor Blackburn Award):  Dr Luke Gamble

· Vet Record Impact Award: Angela Heeley, Dave Brodbelt, Dan O’Neill, David Church and Lucy Davison.

For full details of all the awards winners, visit: www.bva.co.uk/members-day-awards-23 .

BVA Members’ Day and AGM is an annual event which includes the awards ceremony and the election of BVA’s President, Senior Vice President and Junior Vice President.