British veterinary body presents overseas animal welfare award

By Oli Haenlein

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Animal health Medicine Epidemiology Africa Livestock

Dr Delia Grace has been recognised by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) for her work
Dr Delia Grace has been recognised by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) for her work
Dr Delia Grace has been recognised by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) for her work with animal welfare, animal health and food safety in the developing world.

Grace received the BVA’s Trevor Blackburn Award at its Members’ Day in Manchester for “multiple outstanding contributions”​ in Africa and Asia.

The BVA said her achievements had been in a number of forms and locations, including voluntary service in rural Bangladesh, exploring the roles of community animal health systems in eastern Africa, and addressing trypanosomiasis control in West Africa.

She has acted as an advisor to the World Health Organisation, has been involved in high-level policy engagement in Africa and Asia, and is currently the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) programme leader of food safety and zoonoses, and the theme leader of agriculture-associated diseases.

She said: “I am delighted to receive this award. I have been working since 1995 on animal health problems and their solutions in different countries of Africa and Asia. Around one billion poor people depend on livestock for their livelihoods, and livestock disease is one of their greatest concerns and constraints. As much as a third of the value of livestock is lost each year from largely preventable diseases. British and Irish veterinarians have had a long history of working overseas to improve animal health and I am proud to be part of this tradition.”

The BVA said she was a veterinary epidemiologist with nearly 20 years’ experience in developing countries and a highly effective ambassador for the One Health agenda, bestowing a legacy of impact.

It added that, in making this award, the Overseas Group recognised the impact of Grace’s work in animal disease control, particularly her work with community health programmes and research into public health and food safety; her pioneering work highlighting the benefits and risks of the engagement of women in livestock farming in developing countries – she is one of the few scientists to have addressed the gender issues associated with livestock keeping; and the delivery of training and studies in numerous African countries which have all helped to improve both animal and human welfare across Africa and Asia.

Grace acquired an MSc in tropical veterinary medicine at Edinburgh, spending six months on a heartwater vaccine trial in Kenya, and a doctorate in veterinary epidemiology from the Free University of Berlin in 2006. She has published materials in a number of different media forms, including more than 70 journal articles.

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