History of the BSAVA

Since the BSAVA was founded in 1957, the Association has been committed to its mission of promoting excellence in small animal practice with a strong focus on innovation in science and education.

As 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the BSAVA, we’ve created a simple timeline which illustrates some of the key dates in the Association’s history interspersed with a few world events.


1957

Inaugural meeting of the BSAVA
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Inaugural meeting of the BSAVA

The inaugural meeting of the BSAVA was held on the 7th March 1957.

In 1957 the membership subscription was 2 guineas (£2.10). 

1958

First Congress
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First Congress

The first Congress was held between the 28th-30th March 1958 at the Shaftesbury Hotel London and was attended by 245 vets.

1959

C.E Woodrow became first president of BSAVA
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C.E Woodrow became first president of BSAVA

C.E Woodrow became first president of BSAVA

Negotiations took place with publishers regarding the production of the Journal of Small Animal Practice.

1960

Third annual Congress
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Third annual Congress

The third annual Congress took place in the Washington Hotel, London between 18th - 20th March

The first four issues of JSAP, edited by Bruce Vivash Jones were issued this year.

1961

Fourth BSAVA Congress
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Fourth BSAVA Congress and first International Small Animal Veterinary Congress

The fourth BSAVA Congress held in the Kensington Palace Hotel, London was the first International Small Animal Veterinary Congress.

At the AGM it was recognised that the Constitution of the Association needed to be amended because of the growth of the Association and it was hoped that this would be achieved by 1963.

There was a proposal from BVA to reduce the number of BSAVA Representatives on the BVA council from 6 to 4.

1962

C.E. Woodrow published first publication for members
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First publication for members

One of the first records of a publication for members can be attributed to C.E. Woodrow - a book on The Export and Import of Dogs and Cats.

It was proposed that Standing Committee meetings should all be held on the same day, some weeks before the Executive Committee meeting; this would allow all members to attend meetings in London which was the preferred venue.

The Simon Award was first introduced.

1963

C.E Woodrow was awarded Honorary Membership
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C.E Woodrow was awarded Honorary Membership

As the first president of the Association, Mr C.E. Woodrow occupied a particularly important place in the history of the BSAVA. His contribution to its life and growth had been considerable. It was right and proper that he should be honoured by the Association with the presentation of the Scroll of Honorary Membership.

The Past Presidents Committee was formed, to act as a continuity committee in relation to Congress and advance bookings. It was decided that the Chairman of this committee would be the Senior Vice President.

The Executive Committee changed its name to Council.

1964

Proposed increase in membership fee
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Proposed increase in membership fee

Reports on the work of standing committees were requested for the Annual Report. An Extraordinary General Meeting was held to discuss a proposed increase in the membership fee.

1966

The Animal Nursing volumes 1 and 2 became Jones's Animal Nursing
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The Animal Nursing volumes 1 and 2 became Jones's Animal Nursing

The Animal Nursing, volumes 1 and 2, first published in 1966, became Jones's Animal Nursing for its second edition in 1972. Although the textbook was re-titled Veterinary Nursing in 1994.

JSAP
moved to monthly editions from January 1966.

The Association organised a symposium 'Diseases of animals communicable to man'.

1968

BSAVA agreed not to sponsor any commercial products
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BSAVA agreed not to sponsor any commercial products

BSAVA agreed to not be involved in sponsoring/supporting any commercial product.

1969

Membership of the Association reached 1099
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Membership of the Association reached 1099

The twelfth annual BSAVA Congress hosted the third WSAVA Congress at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

Membership of the Association reached 1099.

1970

Council held discussions concerning Product Endorsement
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Council held discussions concerning Product Endorsement

Council held discussions concerning Product Endorsement.

Council proposed that the Association should join the European Union of Practising Veterinary Surgeons, jointly with SPVS and contribute £50 towards delegates travelling expenses providing SPVS agreed.

1971

Melton Award introduced
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Melton Award introduced

A new Melton Award sponsored by Pet Foods LTD was introduced. The Award would be presented annually to the veterinary surgeon in practice, who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee, had contributed the most during the previous year, in the field of Avian care, medicine and surgery. The first recipient of this Award was P N Humphreys.

1972

Congress was opened by HRH Princess Anne
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Congress was opened by HRH Princess Anne

Congress moved to the Royal Garden Hotel, London and was opened by HRH Princess Anne.

1973

The first true manual was published
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The first true manual was published

The first true 'Manual' was published, entitled A Manual of Practice Improvement, edited by Ian Hughes. It was loose-leaf and ring-bound so could be updated as required.

1974

Clinical Research Trust Fund was set up
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Clinical Research Trust Fund was set up

Council set up the Clinical Research Trust Fund which later became known as PetSavers.

The Constitution changed at the AGM to allow full members to pay one half of the full subscription the year following their 65th birthday.

1975

Regional Coordinator post introduced
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Regional Coordinator post introduced

An EGM took place to discuss the proposed increase in membership fees, the increase was agreed but not unanimously.

The post of Regional Coordinator was introduced into the Association.

A proposal was made at Council that the next four Council meetings were non-smoking environments.

1976

Congress delegates attended the premiere of 'It shouldn't happen to a vet'
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Congress delegates attended the premiere of 'It shouldn't happen to a vet'

A Manual of the Care and Treatment of Children's Pets (Cowie, 1976) was published and was the most successful of the early manuals with over 1000 copies sold.

Congress continued to grow and moved to the Cunard International Hotel, London where delegates attended the premiere of the film 'It shouldn't happen to a vet'

Charges for tea and coffees at Council were introduced - 25p per person.

1977

The Manual of Laboratory Techniques was published
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The Manual of Laboratory Techniques was published

The Manual of Laboratory Techniques (Parkin, 1977) was published.

1978

Congress reached record attendance at the time
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Congress reached record attendance at the time

The attendance for Congress in 1978 was 923 people, which for then was an all time record.

1979

BSAVA Congress became the largest veterinary event in the UK
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BSAVA Congress became the largest veterinary event in the UK

As the number of trade stands approached 50, BSAVA Congress became the largest veterinary event in the UK.

A Manual of Anaesthesia (Furber, 1979) was published.

The Association membership were asked to comment on the Royal College specialisation proposals. 87% of the membership responses were in general favour with the preliminary proposals and this was fed back to the Royal College via BVA. The Royal College was primarily interested in the number of practitioners who would wish to participate in specialist courses which might be set up.

A review of the Vet Surgeons Act was proposed and the membership were asked to comment.

1980

The Association donated £1000 to the RCVS Building Fund
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The Association donated £1000 to the RCVS Building Fund

The Association made the first move towards being able to offer payment of membership via Direct Debit.

The Association donated £1000 to the RCVS Building Fund.

The Association strongly supported the resolution in relation to examination prior to vaccination of dogs and cats.

1981

JSAP was published by the Association
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JSAP was published by the Association

JSAP would no longer be published by Blackwells Scientific Publication but by the Association.

1982

BSAVA celebrated 25th Anniversary with Congress Ball
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BSAVA celebrated 25th Anniversary with Congress Ball

BSAVA celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a special Congress Ball at the Savoy Hotel, London. The Association now had 2636 members.

1985

The Manual of Exotic Pets and Feline Medicines and Therapeutics were published
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The Manual of Exotic Pets and Feline Medicines and Therapeutics were published

The 4th Edition of Jones Animal Nursing was published, along with the manual of Exotic Pets and Feline Medicines and Therapeutics

1986

The BSAVA Corporate identity was redesigned
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The BSAVA Corporate identity was redesigned

A decision was made to have a discounted 'members price' on book sales; this benefit to members has remained ever since. The Woodrow Award was presented for the first time.

Council approved a budget of £1000 to redesign the BSAVA Corporate identity.

1987

The Association made representations via BVA
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The Association made representations via BVA

The Association made representations via BVA on a range of subjects during the year.

At the AGM in 1988 the President asked that all members keep themselves acquainted with what was happening in the political arena.

1988

The Manual of Neurology was published
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The Manual of Neurology was published

The Association issued a statement on pet health insurance.

The Association supported an amendment to the Dog Licence recommending a dog registration scheme.

Hill's sponsored a new Award - The Amoroso Award which would be presented at Congress in 1989.

A donation of £250 was made to BVNA to allow them to purchase equipment for their office.

1989

The Frank Beattie Travel Scholarship was introduced at Congress
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The Frank Beattie Travel Scholarship was introduced at Congress

Congress moved to Harrogate and hosted the fourteenth World Congress. This meant more space and more delegates than ever before.

The Manual of Endocrinology and the Manual of Radiography were available at Congress 1989.

The Frank Beattie Travel Scholarship was introduced at Congress.

1990

The first BSAVA European Congress was held in Harrogate
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The first BSAVA European Congress was held in Harrogate

The first BSAVA European Congress was held in Harrogate.

1991

The Practice Standards Scheme was initiated by the Association
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The Practice Standards Scheme was initiated by the Association

The Practice Standards Scheme was initiated by the Association and was initially supported by the BVA and RCVS.

As Congress continued to grow, BSAVA made another move, this time to the ICC in Birmingham.

1992

BSAVA entered into a marketing partnership with Manson Publishing Limited
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BSAVA entered into a marketing partnership with Manson Publishing Limited

The Association agreed that it should enter into a marketing partnership with Manson Publishing Limited to help realise the full sales potential of the manuals.

The Practice Standard Scheme work continued, entirely funded by the BSAVA.

A new European Committee was formed, now known as International Affairs.  There was a proposal that BSAVA had a representative on FECAVA.


1993

The Association officially became a charity
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The Association officially became a charity

The Association officially became a charity.

Initial discussions took place on the Small Animal Formulary, it was hoped that it would be launched at Congress 1994 where it would be sold to members at a cost of £7 and £10 for non-members.

1994

Lynne Hill became the first female President of the BSAVA
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Lynne Hill became the first female President of the BSAVA

Lynne Hill became the first female President of the BSAVA.

A feasibility study was commissioned into the BSAVA holding the 1997 WSAVA Congress.

1996

The Clinical Research Trust Fund changed its name to PetSavers
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The Clinical Research Trust Fund changed its name to PetSavers

BSAVA's charity, the Clinical Research Trust Fund, changed its name to PetSavers.

1997

A joint WSAVA, BSAVA, FECAVA Congress was held in Birmingham
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A joint WSAVA, BSAVA, FECAVA Congress was held in Birmingham

A joint WSAVA, BSAVA, FECAVA Congress was held in Birmingham.

1999

Brian Singleton opened Woodrow House, BSAVA's new headquarters
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Brian Singleton opened Woodrow House, BSAVA's new headquarters

Founding member, Brian Singleton, opened Woodrow House, BSAVA's new purpose-built headquarters in Gloucester.

2000

Membership reached over 5000
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Membership reached over 5000

Membership of the Association reached over 5000 as the organisation entered the new millennium.

2001

Congress paired down social programme out of respect for colleagues
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Congress paired down social programme out of respect for colleagues

Congress offered a paired down social programme out of respect for colleagues affected by the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.

2002

Congress became a multi-site event
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Congress became a multi-site event

Once again Congress had outgrown itself and so the exhibition and registration moved across to the National Indoor Arena and Congress became a multi-site event.

The BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets (fourth edition, eds. Meredith and Redrobe, 2002) had sold nearly 7,500 copies and remains the most successful BSAVA manual to date.

2003

Prescription Only Medicine crisis
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Prescription Only Medicine crisis

Much time was spent by the President, Freda Scott-Park at Westminster tackling the Prescription Only Medicine (POM) crisis on behalf of the profession.

2007

The 2nd edition of Canine and Feline Emergency and Critical Care manual was published
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The 2nd edition of Canine and Feline Emergency and Critical Care manual was published

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Emergency and Critical Care 2nd edition was published.

The association celebrated its 50th anniversary.

2010

A new veterinary nurse membership category was introduced
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A new veterinary nurse membership category was introduced

A new veterinary nurse membership category was introduced. 

The BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets 5th edition was published.

2012

BSAVA hosted WSAVA and FECAVA Congresses in Birmingham
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BSAVA hosted WSAVA and FECAVA Congresses in Birmingham

BSAVA hosted both WSAVA and FECAVA Congresses in Birmingham.

2015

BSAVA President Tricia Colville abseiled to raise money for PetSavers
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BSAVA President Tricia Colville abseiled to raise money for PetSavers

BSAVA President Tricia Colville abseiled at Congress to raise money for PetSavers. Party Night at Congress became VetFest.

2016

Susan Dawson was inducted as the third female president in consecutive years
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Susan Dawson was inducted as the third female President in consecutive years

Susan Dawson was inducted as the third female President in consecutive years, reflecting the gender shift in the profession.

2017

The BSAVA celebrated its 60th anniversary
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The BSAVA celebrates its 60th anniversary

The BSAVA celebrated its 60th anniversary.

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