History of the BVZS

The British Veterinary Zoologcal Society will soon celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2021. This page gives some of the history associated with the society

The First Year of the BVZS

The Inaugural Meeting of BVZS

The BVZS originally started with an inaugural meeting at the Zoological Society of London at 10.00am on July 14th 1961. This first meeting was called by Oliver Graham Jones the then Veterinary Officer of London Zoo. He had previously announced his intention in the Veterinary Record of calling a meeting of all Veterinary Surgeons interested in the “Veterinary attention  of Captive Wild Animals and Exotic pets”. Some 36 Veterinary Surgeons attended this first meeting (listed below). Dr Ian Keymer acted as recording secretary for the meeting. It was agreed that the main function of the Society was to encourage Veterinary Surgeons in the development of knowledge and experience of handling and treating Wild animals and to foster research into diseases of non-domesticated animals in captivity and the wild state. The Society should collect, correlate and disseminate information on the subject. At least one meeting a year should be held, preferably at a Zoological Gardens. The meeting agreed to draft out aims of the Society, establish a Constitution which when accepted by the members the Society would then apply to become a Non-Territorial Division of the British Veterinary Association(BVA). After initial discussion the following Officers were elected.


President: Oliver Graham Jones Honorary Secretary and Treasurer: Martin Senior Committee(Council) members: Calvert Appleby, Ian Keymer and John Dall The power to co-opt committee members was approved.


Membership fees were set at £2-2-0(£2.10) payable on January 1st of each year. Those at the meeting paid £1 to cover the period till December 31st 1961.


Lunch ensued after which some veterinary topics were discussed.

  1. John Dall on B-virus in Monkeys and risks to humans especially with newly imported Monkeys.
  2. Calvert Appleby initiated a discussion, illustrated with colour slides, on Aspergillosis in Penguins.
  3. Oliver Graham Jones showed a film of an operation on a young Orang Utan with an umbilcal hernia along with a film about the Veterinary Hospital at London Zoo.

This first meeting finished at 4.30pm after all present thanked Oliver Graham Jones for all his work in organising and presiding over the meeting and for arranging luncheon and tea!


List of members attending the inaugural meeting:

Oliver Graham Jones, Ian Keymer, Michael Woodford, William Geddes, Martin Senior, Harry S. Gates, Miss Christine Scott, Norman Gould, A.W. Messervy, Sidney Jennings, G.S. Muir, Miss M.W. Brancker, W.J. Jordan, John Volrath, David Blackmore, P. Ayrton Grime, R.S. Mason, Brian Wicks, Henry Carter, David Redfern, Ernest Hartley, John Rohrbach, Keith Barnett, Calvert Appleby, E.G. Sutton, W. Maclennan, Mrs Joyce Wright, Boyd Langman, Cecil Schwartz, Miss Pauline Wenner, T.A.R. Chipperfield, C.D. Scott, Miss Rosemary Welch, G.E. Joss, J.S.M. Cosgrave and John Dall.

Apologies were received from R.N.T.W. Fiennes, C.R.E. Halnan and D.B. Edwards. In total the membership stood at 39. Mrs. Colline Mathieson attended the afternoon session but did not join the Society.


Presidents of the Society

1961 – 1963     Mr. O. Graham-Jones
1963 – 1965     Dr. E.C. Appleby
1965 – 1967     Mr. J.A. Dall
1967 – 1969     Dr. I.F. Keymer
1969 – 1972     Miss W.M. Brancker
1972 – 1974     Professor J.O.L. King
1974 – 1976     Mr. D.W. Jolly
1976 – 1978     Mr. G.E. Joss
1978 – 1980     Mr. V.J.A. Manton
1980 – 1982     Mr. D.M. Jones
1982 – 1984     Mr. G. Benbow
1984 – 1986     Professor J.E. Cooper
1986 – 1988     Mr. P. Humphreys
1988 – 1990     Mr. M. J. Fielding
1990 – 1992     Mr. D.W. Marriott
1992 – 1994     Mr. P.W. Scott
1994 – 1996     Professor J.K. Kirkwood
1996 – 1998     Mr. D.G. Lyon
1998 – 2000     Mr. M. Lawton
2000 – 2002     Professor A. Meredith
2002 – 2004     Mrs. L. Rayment-Dyble
2004 – 2006     Miss S. Thornton
2006 – 2008     Mr. E. Flach
2008 – 2010     Mr. S. J. Girling
2010 – 2012     Mrs. V. Roberts
2012 – 2014     Mr. Matthew Brash
2014 – 2016     Mr. Michael Stanford
2016 – 2018     Mr. Mark Stidworthy
2018 – 2019     Mrs. Fieke Molenaar

2019 – 2020     Mr. Peter Kettlewell

2020 – 2021     Dr.  Elizabeth Mullineaux