Mikko Turku, EASVO Vice-President, proudly announced the Finish Veterinarian of the Year 2024 to veterinarian Terhi Laaksosen. Laaksonen received the award for her meritorious work in animal health and welfare and food safety. At the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Laaksonen’s work included, among other things, the fight against zoonoses, where the key was establishing a cooperation network of public health and environmental health authorities and experts. Laaksonen participated in the preparation of the national zoonosis strategy and coordinated cooperation with various parties.

Laaksonen’s current work as Director of the Animal Health and Welfare Directorate at the Finnish Food Authority focuses on the prevention and management of animal disease epidemics. In the summer of 2023, Finland experienced a profound test when Avian influenza caused mass deaths of wild birds and spread to fur farms.

“The situation was exceptional because the threat to human health was greater than in previous epidemics. The fear was that a new form of human infectious disease, a new epidemic or even a pandemic, would emerge. This has been my single biggest and most exceptional assignment,” says Laaksonen.


Ruokavirasto, Terhi Laaksonen


The Finnish Veterinary Association awards the Veterinarian of the Year Award annually based on significant work done for the benefit of veterinary medicine, veterinary medicine or the veterinary community. More than 80% of licensed veterinarians in Finland and a significant number of students belong to the association already since 1892. www.sell.fi.