SCIENTIFIC research establishments and those supplying animals for use in scientific procedures are required under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to appoint a Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) who is responsible for advising on the health and welfare of animals used and bred within these establishments. NVS work may be full time or part time, employed or self-employed. The author of this article spends approximately one-fifth of his time as an NVS for a local tertiary education establishment, and the remainder in general veterinary practice. He has found this combination immensely satisfying: not only do his NVS duties provide a refreshing contrast to his day-to-day clinical work, but he has also acquired new skills and expertise that he has been able to channel back into the practice. Moreover, he relishes the opportunity that his role as an NVS gives him to influence animal welfare - something that is not always easy to achieve in general practice.