Internationally acclaimed wildlife photo journalist Aaron Gekoski has been named fifth judge as part of a panel, for the 2021 British Veterinary Association (BVA) Veterinary Photographer of the Year Award.

An environmental photojournalist, Mr. Gekoski has won various, well known wildlife photography awards and is regularly featured in the press – most recently, for his book ‘Animosity: Human – Animal Conflict in the 21st Century’. He will be part of a team of judges which include BVA President James Russell, Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) Senior Vice President Izzie Arthur, and judges nominated by the competition sponsor iM3 Veterinary Dentistry.

BVA’s photo competition is always very popular with veterinary professionals across the UK and has already seen 200 entries since this year’s award launched in January.

Split into three categories, entrants are asked to focus on images that will capture the human-animal bond in day-to-day veterinary work, as well as photos of pets or wildlife taken outside of the working environment. Submissions for each category can be taken on a phone or a high-spec camera, and should take into account responsible animal interaction and positive animal health and welfare.

The three categories are:

  • Life in Lockdown
    • Images that reflect the extraordinary circumstances we were all thrust into during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • All creatures great and small
    • An opportunity to look at the vast diversity of the animal kingdom: domestic, agricultural, and all aspects of wildlife
  • Happy pets that make us smile 
    • Reflecting the joy of a happy, contented animal

Commenting on being part of the judging team, Aaron Gekoski said:

“It’s a huge honour to be a judge for the BVA Veterinary Photographer of the Year Award, the most prestigious photographic competition for the veterinary profession. The competition helps shine a light on the invaluable and relentless work carried out by vets around the world; work that may otherwise go unnoticed.

“I look forward to bringing my experience as an environmental photojournalist to the judging process.”

Welcoming Mr. Gekoski, BVA President James Russell said:

“We are delighted to welcome such an acclaimed photojournalist to the team of judges for this year’s awards.

“I have no doubt that Mr. Gekoski’s wealth of knowledge about wildlife photography from around the world, and of human and animal relationships will raise the bar in our final selection process.”

The BVA Veterinary Photographer of the Year Award 2021 will close at 11.59 GMT on 8 March. Winners will be announced in April. They will receive a £250 John Lewis voucher and their pictures exhibited by BVA. Find out more and submit your entries at