Our Projects

Dr Simon Girling

Head of Veterinary Services, RZSS

BVMS (Hons) DZooMed DipECZM CBiol FRSB EurProBiol FRCVS

EBVS® European Veterinary Specialist in Zoo Health Management

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

 

Simon joined RZSS in 2009, although he was part of their Ethics and Welfare Committee from 1999-2003 and has been involved professionally with the zoo through his work with DEFRA from 2007-2009. His work at RZSS involves overseeing the health plan for all of the animals held on site at both Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park as well as much of their work on in situ projects in the UK and overseas (such as Eurasian beavers and Scottish wildcats). Simon has worked with a number of private zoological collections in Scotland and England over the last 25 years as well as other zoo licensed premises.

He is an immediate Past-President of the European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM) stepping down from the role of President after the three-year elected term in 2019. The ECZM is the European body that trains and examines veterinary surgeons at European Qualification Framework Level 8 (PhD equivalent) and is recognised by the European Parliament as the awarding body for European Veterinary Specialist status in zoological medicine.

Simon is also a previous President of the British Veterinary Zoological Society and Chief Examiner for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for Zoological Medicine. Simon has authored, edited and co-authored a number of zoological textbooks and created the only City & Guilds recognised post-qualification course in zoological species for veterinary nurses. Simon gained his de facto status in the Diploma of ECZM in Zoo Health Management (ZHM) and became a European Veterinary Specialist in Zoological Medicine (Zoo Health Management) at its inception in 2012. At Edinburgh Zoo he set up the first UK ECZM (ZHM) Residency training program in 2013, training the next generation of Zoo Health Management veterinary specialists.

⦁ Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (with Honours), University of Glasgow – 1994
⦁ Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Certificate in Zoological Medicine – 1999
⦁ Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma in Zoological Medicine – 2002
⦁ Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine – 2003
⦁ EBVS® European Veterinary Specialist in Zoo Health Management – 2012
⦁ Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for Meritorious Contributions to the Profession – 2016

Other positions

⦁ President of the European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM) 2016-2019
⦁ Fellow of the Royal Society of Biologists (FRSB)
⦁ Honorary Clinical Associate Professor, University of Glasgow
⦁ Member of the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission
⦁ Chair of DEFRA’s Zoo Experts Committee
⦁ Tutor for the City & Guilds post-qualification course in Zoological species for veterinary nurses
⦁ Veterinary Advisor, EAZA Pallas’ cat (Otocolobus manul) EEP
⦁ Veterinary Advisor, EAZA Red fronted macaw (Ara rubrogenys) EEP
⦁ Veterinary Advisor Scottish wildcat
⦁ Veterinary Advisor, BIAZA Hoofstock Focus Group
⦁ Veterinary Advisor, BIAZA Bird Focus Group
⦁ Vice Chair, BIAZA Veterinary Focus Group


Professional and research interests

Simon's research covers numerous veterinary aspects, including disease, nutrition and reproduction in order to assist with the management of wild animals in a captive environment. He is also interested in the health assessment of animals involved in reintroduction programs, both before and after release.

For a list of Simon's publications please visit his Researchgate page