Veterinary associations collaborate to honour Des Thompson

13 November 2023

In a collaboration between BSAVA, AVSPNI, NIVA, BVA Northern Ireland, VetNI and Young Vet Network in Northern Ireland, an event to honour esteemed veterinary surgeon, Des Thompson, took place on Tuesday 7th November in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Celebrating 40 years since Des Thompson was BSAVA President, the event was organised to celebrate Des and his huge commitment to the veterinary profession over 60 years. He was awarded with an OBE from the Queen for his contributions in 1991, and he continues to tirelessly promote the best of the profession to the general public, as well as encouraging a younger generation of vets and co-founder of the Young Vet Network Northern Ireland.

Welcoming over 50 delegates, the event began with a morning’s CPD from speaker Ed Hall, before a wonderful lunch, speeches from the organisations attending and a networking opportunity in the afternoon. All attendees were delighted to be joined by Des, Rosalie and two of his daughters at the event.

There are many highlights of Des’ career, including being an Honorary Life Member of BSAVA, SPVS, AVSPNI, NIVA, Winner of the BVA Chiron Award, the BSAVA Melton Award, and the WSAVA International Award. As well as being a Past President for BSAVA, he is also a Past President of UEVP, SPVS, NIVA, RCVS and CABTSG (now called BVBA) and Chairman of the Ulster Branch of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Alison Speakman, BSAVA Senior Vice President said: “BSAVA are extremely proud to be associated with Des. There are not enough words to really explain how much Des has given to vets, nurses, students, owners, and pets throughout his career. He is one of the kindest, most supportive, humble, and true gentlemen you will ever meet, and it is an honour to celebrate his outstanding achievements with him and his wife Rosalie.”

“This event would not have been possible without the generous support and assistance from VetNI, NIVA, Young Vet Network Northern Ireland and AVSPNI. In particular, a special mention to Fiona McFarland, Jo Gibson, Carole Haile and Andrea Lynch for their considerable input, a huge thanks to you all.”

The event was organised by BSAVA and its Northern Ireland region with the support and collaboration of VetNI, NIVA, AVSPNI, Young Vet Network NI.