Two brief paragraphs in The Veterinary Record of November 24, 1956, recorded a meeting at the bva's headquarters the previous Friday, at which a group of members had discussed the establishment of a National Small-Animal Association. The meeting voted unanimously in favour of the idea and a small steering committee was established. The following year, the steering committee announced that the British Small-animal Veterinary Association was to be formed to ‘promote the cultural, scientific, and professional interests of veterinary surgeons and practitioners engaged in small-animal practice, teaching and research’ (VR, February 9, 1957, vol 69, p 117). The inaugural meeting took place at the Royal Veterinary College on March 7, 1957 (reported right). Fifty years on, the bsava is the largest of the bva's specialist divisions, and its annual congress is the biggest annual veterinary gathering in the uk. Here, five past-presidents of the bsava, one from each decade, reflect on the issues facing the association during their presidential year, how things have changed and the challenges that might lie ahead. On p 502, Mike Jessop, the current president, discusses activities over the past year.