Dr Robert John Huey


Candidate 1 of 4


Robert Huey Fellowship Board Chair election candidate 2019 Proposers

Col Neil Smith, Andrew Robinson


Contact details

E robert.huey@daera-ni.gov.uk


Candidate biography

Robert Huey took up the position as Chief Veterinary Officer for Northern Ireland on the 11 November 2013.

He joined Veterinary Service in 1989, having spent five years in general mixed veterinary practice in Maghera, County Londonderry. After a period in general field duties, there followed a period teaching ‘Animal Health’ in Loughry Agricultural College, a general emersion in meat hygiene issues and promotion various policy and delivery roles. From 2002 to 2009 he was responsible for the delivery of DAERA meat hygiene services for the Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland.

He holds the RCVS Diploma in Veterinary Public Health (Meat Hygiene) 1996, having completed the certificate in 1992, and is co-author of the textbook ‘Meat Hygiene’. I have carried out the roles of RCVS examiner, senior examiner and have acted as an external examiner for Liverpool and Bristol faculties.

I have been involved in veterinary politics for many years. I held the positions of President of the North of Ireland Veterinary Association, the Veterinary Public Health Association and the Union of European Veterinary Hygienists, a specialist section of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe. I chaired the FVE Working groups on food hygiene and on the welfare of animals at slaughter, and held the position of Vice-President of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe for 4 years.

I served within the RAVC Reserve for 27 years in a number of posts, retiring at the rank of Lt. Colonel.

I have participated in 10 EAEVE evaluation visits to veterinary faculties as food hygiene expert, the last three as chairman.


Candidate statement

If I was to be offered the prestigious position of chair of the RCVS Fellowship Board I would endeavour to ensure that the potential that lies within the membership of the Fellowship was effectively harnessed to the benefit of both the College and the wider profession. This is particular necessary with the contraction of Council which has led to a narrowing of the expertise available through that route.

The Fellowship could be used to ensure that the initiatives and policies of the College, as distinct from that of the regulator, had a sound evidence base by ensuring that horizon scanning identified knowledge gaps in time for evidence to be sought, challenged and developed. Excellence in veterinary research could be encouraged through the recognition of the College or the award of specific scrolls or medals. Statements made through the President or other officers could be added additional depth and polish through consultation with appropriate Groups of Fellows.

Through active engagement with Universities and Institutes, the Fellowship could be used to enhance both the reputation of the Fellowship itself and by extension the College. There is an important role to be developed in the raising of awareness of the general public in the position of veterinarians as a profession rooted in evidence based science.

As Chief Veterinary Officer for Northern Ireland I am a member of the Departmental Board and a number of governance sub-committees. Consequently, I am well acquainted with the theory and practice of good governance. I am an experienced chairman within the private public and voluntary sectors and within professional bodies. My current position requires me to represent the profession at cross disciplinary professional Groups, to work to deadlines and to have good communication skills. Dealing with Ministers, political representatives and the press requires me to frequently display my diplomatic skills.

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