Former World Horse Welfare chairman and veterinarian Dr Barry Johnson has been named the winner of this year’s Queen’s Medal from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
The award is the highest honour bestowed upon a veterinary surgeon by the RCVS.
During his time with World Horse Welfare, Johnson travelled internationally to lecture on its behalf, with a particular involvement in fundraising, profile-enhancing and education. He retired from the post at the end of 2016, having been a Trustee of the charity since 2007. Johnson is also a regional representative for Vetlife as well as being Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Lancashire.
After graduating from the University of Liverpool in 1969, Preston-born Johnson established an equine and farm animal practice in 1974 on the Fylde Coast, before being appointed as official vet for Lancashire Constabulary’s mounted section. He then quickly became involved in many other lines of work, lecturing at the Myerscough College for 30 years, acting on the Agricultural Training Board, and serving as RCVS President from 1993-1994. He was also an RCVS Council Member for 28 years (1986-1998; 2000-2016) and served on many RCVS Committees.
“This is an enormous honour for a practitioner from Lancashire. I have always enjoyed being a veterinary surgeon and am grateful to my colleagues and clients for making my career so fulfilling rewarding and fun,” Johnson said.
He was nominated by fellow veterinary surgeon and RCVS Council member Dr Peter Jinman, who said: “There are few members who have contributed so much of their personal time for the benefit of the veterinary profession both locally and nationally.
“That this has been done often without the knowledge of the public or the rest of the profession and at no little personal expense, demands recognition. Barry represents the very best of what a veterinary practitioner can achieve both in terms of his profession and in wider society.”
Johnson will receive the accolade at this year’s RCVS Day, on the occasion of its Annual General Meeting and Awards Day, on Friday, July 7, at the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Also receiving an award is Kathy Kissick, who will receive the Golden Jubilee award, the highest honour from the RCVS for a veterinary nurse.
Kissick is a trustee of the Alderney Animal Welfare Society and has previously acted as the Head of School for Veterinary Nursing and Farriery Science at Mysercough College in Lancashire.
She qualified as a veterinary nurse in 1983 and, since then, has acted as an external examiner and adviser for a number of veterinary nursing course providers over the years and is on the editorial board for The Veterinary Nurse.
She has also been active within the College, initially as a nursing examiner and then as both a Member and then Chair of the RCVS Veterinary Nurses Council.
She said: “I am delighted, honoured and humbled to accept the Golden Jubilee award and hope that I can continue to inspire veterinary nurses, throughout their careers, to always do the very best for their patients, clients and colleagues but not to forget to follow their dreams.”
She was nominated by Lynne Kerrigan, a colleague and former student. In her nomination, she said: “She has become a role model for both aspiring and qualified veterinary nurses through her relentless passion and tenacity to raise the profile of veterinary nursing and her continuous drive to achieve improved recognition and protection of the title veterinary nurse.”