Delia Grace in ILRI's Guwahati office

Delia Grace, veterinary epidemiologist at the International Livestock Research Institute (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

We are pleased to congratulate Delia Grace on being announced as the winner of the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) Trevor Blackburn Award in recognition of her multiple outstanding contributions to animal health, animal welfare and food safety in Africa and Asia.

In particular, she was recognized for her work with community health programs and research into public health and food safety; her pioneering work highlighting the benefits and risks of the engagement of women in livestock farming in developing countries; and the delivery of training and studies in numerous African countries.

The announcement was made today, 25 September 2014, during the awards ceremony at the BVA Members’ Day in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Grace is a veterinary epidemiologist with nearly 20 years’ experience in developing countries. She leads the Food Safety and Zoonoses program at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Agriculture-Associated Diseases theme of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH).

She has previously worked in various capacities and settings including general practice in Lancashire; voluntary service in rural Bangladesh; exploring the roles of community animal health systems in eastern Africa; undertaking applied research addressing the enormity of trypanosomiasis control in West Africa; advising the World Health Organization and high-level policy engagement at national and regional levels in Africa and Asia.

On learning that she was to receive the Trevor Blackburn Award for 2014, Grace commented:

“I am delighted to receive this award. I have been working since 1995 on animal health problems and their solutions in different countries of Africa and Asia.

“Around one billion poor people depend on livestock for their livelihoods and livestock disease is one of their greatest concerns and constraints. As much as a third of the value of livestock is lost each year from largely preventable diseases.

“British and Irish veterinarians have had a long history of working overseas to improve animal health and I am proud to be part of this tradition.”

Iain Wright, ILRI’s interim deputy director general, also expressed his delight upon hearing the good news.

He said: “Delia is recognized as a global leader in research on food safety and zoonoses in developing countries and is a strong supporter of the ‘One Health’ approach.”

“Having worked with community animal health care workers, she appreciates the realities of delivering animal health care services on the ground and brings this experience to bear in ensuring that her research is practical and relevant.”

The Trevor Blackburn Award recognizes contributions to animal health and welfare in a developing country by BVA members and was set up in memory of Trevor Blackburn who was president of the BVA 1984 to 1985, Commonwealth Veterinary Association 1988 to 1991 and World Veterinary Association 1991 to 1995.

View some of Delia Grace’s research publications here