Last week saw 180 members of the Veterinary Profession gather together for  the Yorkshire Veterinary Society Annual Dinner.

For the last 2 years, I was President of the Society and so my enjoyment of the evening was somewhat tainted by the fact that I had to give an after dinner speech – something I was not entirely comfortable with. But this year, I have passed over the baton of Presidency and now have the role of Senior Vice President which meant I could relax and enjoy the evening.

Last year marked the 150th anniversary of the Yorkshire Veterinary Society and the dinner was held at The Queen’s Hotel in Leeds where the inaugural meeting had been held 150 years earlier. This year, for the 151st  dinner, we returned to The Queen’s.

As I looked around The Queens Hotel last Friday evening at the assembled guests, I was struck by how fortunate I am to be in the Veterinary Profession. In the room were a selection of Vets and Nurses from Practices across the region along with many Representatives from Pharmaceutical Companies and suppliers to the Veterinary Profession. Many of the Guests would consider the other invitees as being direct competitors and yet there was a great deal of professional courtesy and camaraderie on show. The aim of the Yorkshire Veterinary Society has always been to facilitate discussion between Vets from across Yorkshire and it soon becomes evident when Vets get together that we have much more in common than we dispute.

As in all businesses nowadays, competition between Veterinary Practices can be fierce and I believe that competition can be very positive in that it drives up standards of clinical care, facilities and service, but competition does not need to come at the expense of professional respect and courtesy and, through organisations such as The Yorkshire Veterinary Society, we remain a well mannered and friendly profession and one that I am proud to belong to.