Journal news

Making the move back to Mansfield Street

Over the Easter weekend BVA staff moved back to the newly refurbished offices at BVA headquarters in Mansfield Street. The move marked the culmination of our exciting project to transform the building to create a modern and welcoming space for staff, members and guests.

BVA staff worked with architects Manalo & White to redesign and modernise the office space and member areas, and improve accessibility, while retaining the unique historic character of our Grade II* listed building.

Our new meeting rooms, which can be hired by members at a discounted rate, are equipped with state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment and named after iconic vets from history. There is also a new lounge area where we hope to welcome members soon.

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Vet Futures news: translating BVAs animal welfare strategy to tackle real-world problems

When we launched the BVA animal welfare strategy ‘vets speaking up for animal welfare’ in 2016, we stated that the ultimate aim was for BVA members and specialist divisions to contribute to solutions for real-world animal welfare problems. The Vet Futures Action Plan reiterated this pledge and set us the challenge of developing a list of specific animal welfare problems in each sector and a work programme to address them.

In 2017 BVA Council members agreed a list of priorities and since then BVA Policy Committee has been working with relevant species divisions to develop evidence-led policy positions on a range of sector-specific and overarching issues: brachycephalic dogs; extreme conformation; welfare of livestock during transport; calf analgesia for routine procedures; and goat kid disbudding.

The Council meeting in April considered new positions on surplus male production animals and electric containment fences. And other positions are under development: housing pet...

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Join the debate with AWF

AWF Manager Erika Singh invites you to join the debate on the big animal welfare issues at this year’s Animal Welfare Foundation Discussion Forum.

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Divisional notices

Divisional notices for BVA territorial and specialist divisions are published in BVA News.

Notices should be e-mailed to at least five weeks before each meeting.

Please include details of the title/theme of the meeting and any speakers, as well as the date, venue and time, together with a contact email from which further information can be obtained.


A practical approach to the canine cardiac patient

Evening meeting with speaker Chris Lilley from Willows. The meeting will be sponsored by Boehringer-Ingelheim. Non-members are welcome to attend at a charge of £15. This meeting will be preceded by a short annual general meeting.

  • 16 May 2019, 19.30,

  • Cedric Ford Pavilion, Newark & Notts Showground, Newark-on-Trent

  • Details from Daphne Chapleo, email:

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    Reflection: accentuate the positive

    Chloe Roberts, East Midlands Young Vet Network representative and BVA Council recent graduate representative, discusses the benefits of positive reflection.

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    Celebrating five years of BVAs Voice survey

    BVA Media Manager Nina Rossi reflects on the growing success of BVA’s regular member surveys.

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    Thank you for #ThankYouThursday success

    Girija Duggal, BVA Media Officer, picks out some highlights of the recent social media campaign.

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    From wayward pupil to wilderness vet

    Caroline Murray has learnt much about resilience working as a locum vet internationally. Here, she explains how that has helped her cope during tough times.

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    Social media case has lessons for all vets

    This week’s Vet Record contains a noteworthy cautionary tale in the form of a news report of an RCVS disciplinary hearing.

    The subject of the hearing was Natalia Strokowska, a vet from Poland who has practised extensively as a locum in the UK.

    Between October 2016 and August 2017 she posted six pictures of clients’ pets on social media without first gaining permission from the clients.

    As the veterinary regulator, the RCVS investigated Strokowska’s behaviour, and the matter was eventually referred to the college’s disciplinary committee – an equivalent of a court where ‘charges’ against vets can be heard.

    The RCVS’s decision to refer the case in the first place demonstrates its perception as to the gravity of the issue at stake. Its preliminary investigation committee only refers a case when there is a ‘realistic chance’ of proving an allegation. Each time it opts to hold a disciplinary hearing...

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    Social media posts end up in vet disciplinary

    By Josh Loeb

    A former fashion model turned vet has been found to have committed serious professional misconduct by posting images of animals on social media without first getting permission from their owners.

    Natalia Strokowska, 30, was reprimanded by the RCVS disciplinary committee after admitting making six posts on social media without first gaining owners’ consent and on one occasion lying by telling a colleague she had all necessary consents when this was untrue.

    Strokowska, who graduated in 2014 in Poland and whose VetNoLimits Instagram account boasts more than 25,000 followers, made the six posts between October 2016 and August 2017 while undertaking UK locum work.

    The images depicted:

  • Two guinea pigs with an accompanying text referring to their dermatological condition

  • ‘Rusty’, a retriever

  • ‘Darcy’, a dachshund, with accompanying text referring to dental treatment and the price paid for it

  • ‘Albi’, a cat, with accompanying...

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    Legs, tails and toes: what can nurses amputate?

    By Josh Loeb

    The removal of some animals’ tails or toes can be classed as minor surgery – meaning such amputations can be performed in certain cases by registered veterinary nurses (RVNs).

    The RCVS has confirmed its position on what constitutes minor and major surgery following confusion from some vets and RVNS.

    The college, however, has stated that leg amputations should always be considered ‘major’ surgery.

    The issue was highlighted earlier this year at an event at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association congress. According to Schedule 3 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, RVNs can – under the direction of their veterinary surgeon employer – undertake ‘minor surgery not involving entry into a body cavity’.

    Since amputations constitute surgery not involving entry into a body cavity, a question then arises about the precise meaning of the word ‘minor’.

    Vet Robert Wallace asked for an example of a surgical procedure...

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    RCVS mediation service working well

    By Adele Waters

    The mediation service that helps resolve disputes between vets and clients is successfully resolving the lionshare of complaints against practices.

    An audit of the Veterinary Client Mediation Service, which was launched by the RCVS in 2016, found 65 per cent of all cases referred to it up to November 2018 were resolved at a preliminary stage.

    Of these, almost all – 96 per cent – concluded without the need for further action.

    Feedback about the service also shows a high level of satisfaction, with 84 per cent of practice staff saying they were satisfied with the outcome and 81 per cent finding the service fair.

    Jennie Jones, a solicitor who runs the service, said most complaints were about a clinical pathway, for example obstetric care in dogs or a dental procedure.

    Other causes included communication issues, such as failing to update owners, acknowledge their views and/or...

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    Showcasing the UKs agricultural technology

    The role of the UK’s four agri-tech centres in achieving sustainable global food production has recently been highlighted at two on-farm events.

    The events were held at Newcastle University’s Cockle Park Farm and showcased projects involving the Agri-EPI Centre, Agrimetrics, Crop Health and Protection, and the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock.

    Exhibits featured included: a demonstration of the role of a variety of sensors in precision livestock management; mobile CT scanning and imaging facilities for assessing body condition and carcase traits; and digital image and audio smart tools for monitoring animal health and welfare.

    Speaking at the event, BVA president Simon Doherty said: ‘I am absolutely passionate about the "UK offer" in agricultural technology across the supply chain, from farm to fork.

    ‘It is a hugely challenging time for the agri-food sector but I’m confident that we can create solutions to many of the obstacles we face by...

    Categories: Journal news

    'Blurred lines over practice premises rules

    By Josh Loeb

    A vet says he is ‘puzzled’ after being informed that his home address must be registered as a practice premises even if he only keeps medicines there for use on his own pets.

    Gareth Harries, a visiting veterinary orthopaedic surgeon from Staffordshire does not dispense drugs from his home or store them for use on other people’s animals. In addition, his home is not open to the public as a place to bring animals for treatment.

    Nonetheless, in correspondence with the RCVS, seen by Vet Record, Harries was informed by a member of the college’s registration team that ‘if you are storing veterinary medicines at home for your own animals, your home would have to be registered’.

    This interpretation of the rules means that his home could need to undergo an inspection by members of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate inspection team.

    Vets who keep a small...

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    Dog therapy helps reduce stress in students

    Middlesex is the first university in the UK to establish a structured programme of work and activity for student engagement with canine teaching assistants (CTAs).

    A CTA was first introduced in 2017 to reduce anxiety among nursing students. The dog was owned by head of clinical skills Fiona Suthers and, following the initial success, five dogs have now been trained to help all students and staff.

    Every week students can engage with the dogs during drop-in sessions at the university’s wellbeing centre, which usually involve up to 20 students, and the staff have noticed a significant change in students’ frame of mind when they leave. The CTAs also visit lectures around exam time or when students have revision sessions with the aim of reducing stress and anxiety.

    The university notes the canine therapy has particularly helped with students feeling homesick and on the verge of dropping out.

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    Meet the dogs trained to use their noses to find people in trouble

    Georgina Mills discusses the recent assessment of new mountain rescue dogs in Scotland

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    In brief

    The RCVS election results are in ...

    Three successful candidates have been elected to RCVS council, after a record-breaking number of votes were cast.

    Current RCVS council members Niall Connell and Jo Dyer were re-elected, while newcomer Linda Belton also joins the council.

    A total of 8234 votes were cast in this year’s election (of which two-thirds were done online), making a record total turnout of 25.5 per cent.

    RCVS registrar Eleanor Ferguson said: ‘I was delighted to see that, this year, we had over a quarter of those eligible to vote doing so, which means both a record number of votes and a record turnout –it seems this was assisted by our email reminders which, each time they were sent out, led to a significant boost in uptake.’

    The results will be formally declared at this year’s Royal College Day in July, when the successful candidates will also...

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    Disease surveillance in England and Wales, April 2019

    APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • Reports from France of congenital infection of calves with bluetongue virus serotype 8

  • Poor quality forage leads to abortions in cattle

  • Inadvertent intravascular injection of a macrocyclic lactone in a ewe

  • Clostridial enteritis in neonatal piglets

  • Intestinal spirochaetosis in ratites

  • Highlights from the scanning surveillance networkCattleAbortions attributed to poor quality forage

    Several APHA Veterinary Investigation Centres (VICs) and partner postmortem examination providers reported abortions in cattle caused by Listeria species (usually Listeria monocytogenes), Bacillus licheniformis or Aspergillus fumigatus. These organisms are widespread in the environment and are consequently not uncommon contaminants of forage.

    Infection in cattle by these organisms is often associated with the feeding of poor quality forage, although other feeds such as brewers grains can also become contaminated. Once the causative agent has been identified, it is important to change the feed offered to pregnant...

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    Coccidiosis in sheep

    This focus article has been prepared by Mick Macrelli, Lizzy Dunnett, Sian Mitchell and Amanda Carson of the APHA Small Ruminant Species Expert Group.

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