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Queen’s University Belfast Lecturer named ‘World Vet of the Year 2024’ at Global Veterinary Awards

Dr Simon Doherty

Dr Simon Doherty

A Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, has been named World Vet of the Year at the prestigious Global Veterinary Awards.

Dr Simon Doherty was given the honour, in recognition of his dedication and contribution to his field, at the awards which were hosted by the World Veterinary Association (WVA) in Cape Town, South Africa earlier this month.

The County Down native and Senior Lecturer (Education) in Animal Health in the School of Biological Sciences and Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s, was also named the winner of the ‘One Health’ category at the ceremony, which was supported by Ceva Santé Animale (Ceva).

Simon said:

“I am absolutely thrilled and slightly shocked to receive this fabulous award, it means a great deal to me, and I would like to thank the WVA and Ceva for the amazing recognition.

“When I discuss One Health, I always talk about it in the context of One Health in Action. Action requires many people to be ‘hands on’ and this accolade is fantastic acknowledgement of the many team efforts that I have been part of and offered leadership to.”

Dr Doherty’s expertise focuses on a One Health approach to global health challenges. This helps balance and optimise the health of people, animals and ecosystems, sustainable livestock agriculture and aquaculture - including elements such as animal welfare, environmental impact and antimicrobial resistance.

The vet and academic began his veterinary career working in progressive farm animal and equine practice and was later appointed the Animal Health and Aquaculture Sector Specialist for the UK Government’s Department for International Trade.

He is a Past-President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and was the founding chair of the UK One Health Coordination Group, later chairing the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) Food Safety and Sustainability Working Group.

For the last fifteen years, Dr Doherty has been working with the international NGO, Ripple Effect (formerly Send a Cow) which is involved in sustainable development in six sub-Saharan countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia bringing his expertise in livestock health and welfare, and One Health, to the organisation.

Director of the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen's, Professor Nigel Scollan said:

“We are extremely proud of Simon and delighted that his commitment to his work, not only within education at Queen’s, but beyond that, has resulted in receiving such an incredible, and very well-deserved commendation.

“This achievement celebrates the quality of Simon’s free work and highlights how his passion for animal health is renowned globally. In addition, it is a great reflection of the high standard of research that IGFS and Queen’s undertake.”

Speaking on Simon’s recent achievement, Archie Clements, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) for Research and Enterprise at Queen’s and a vet renowned for his expertise in the epidemiology of infectious diseases says:

“This is a phenomenal recognition for Simon. He is a great champion for placing importance on the progression of scientific research on global health challenges across scientific and professional disciplines and I congratulate him on the honour.”

The WVA Global Veterinary Awards are an evolution from the previous WVA Animal Welfare Awards, which were extended to include all 4 areas of WVA’s work – Animal Welfare, One Health, Medicine Stewardship and Veterinary Education – and to also recognise the Vet Student of the Year.


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