A WINCHESTER-based zoo and wildlife surgeon has been named junior vice president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

Justine Shotton will take on the role for 2020/2021, as announced during a virtual awards and officer handover ceremony.

A 2008 University of Bristol veterinary graduate with a first class degree in veterinary pathology from the Royal Veterinary College, Dr Shotton has over 12 years’ experience in zoo medicine, small animal practice and mixed practice in Oxfordshire, London and Hampshire.

She said: “I feel very lucky to be fulfilling my lifetime ambition of working as a vet and feel especially privileged to be working in a conservation-focused zoo, improving the health and welfare of a range of species.

“The veterinary profession is facing diverse and uncharted challenges. I am excited to be taking up the role of BVA Junior Vice President, where I hope to be able to use my experience to support all members of the profession through these unprecedented times and to ensure our profession continues to thrive.

“I look forward to working with veterinary and veterinary nursing students, supporting their navigation through the Covid-19 changes to their education, as well as working with veterinary teams to promote positive mental health and wellbeing. I am also a passionate advocate for animal welfare across species and for supporting veterinary teams in helping their clients improve animal welfare.”

Upon graduation, Dr Shotton volunteered at wildlife rehabilitation centres in Guatemala and a small animal clinic in Honduras before spending five years working as a mixed practice vet in Oxfordshire.

In 2014, she completed a Master’s degree in Wild Animal Health from the Royal Veterinary College and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), devoting her field research project to catching and collaring wild cheetahs in Botswana to research their movements, hunting preferences, and impact on farmers.

In her leisure time, she enjoys running, travelling, learning Italian and sailing.