The Gala Dinner at the end of the penultimate day of the XVIII World Poultry Veterinary Association (WVPA) Congress took place at The Machine Gallery, Nantes, France.

To move guests from the cocktail reception to the formal dinner, a larger animal than usually encountered was used -- the huge machine Great Elephant. To the amazement of assembled guests, this made its way through the middle of the reception to the dining area and attendees followed behind.

Hall of Fame

Dr. Trevor Bagust, WVPA president, used the evening to announce the Hall of Fame, created to be the highest honor for any poultry veterinarian. All those members -- one per annum since the establishment of the association -- were announced and the induction ceremony and awarding of certificates took place while guests ate.

The evening was also used to announce the recipient of the Young Poultry Veterinarian of 2013 award. This was presented to Philip Hammond, from the UK, who is a partner at Crowshall Veterinary Services, which is responsible for a significant proportion of the UK poultry industry.

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For the second year running, the award has been sponsored by Zoetis Global Poultry, and Hammond will receive a grant to attend poultry meetings of his choice anywhere in the world. On receiving the award, he said that the key to being a good poultry veterinarian is good communication and ensuring that everything possible is done to meet clients' needs.

Bagust commented: "Philip is a great communicator and a fantastic ambassador for the profession. I am really happy that we can acknowledge and support his passion for poultry health, and help him to further his experience at a global level."

Details of the next WVPA Congress, to be held in South Africa in two years' time were given by Dr. Hannes Swart, and he urged guest to come to South Africa to see some real elephants.

This was followed by the announcement that the 20th conference will be held in Scotland, UK, in 2017.