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How is your client feeling? The power of mediation

19 December 2019

This month, Jennie Jones from the Veterinary Client Mediation Service discusses how mediation can help to resolve client complaints

Categories: Journal news

Key information about small animal skin diseases for practitioners

19 December 2019

Reviewed by Rosario Cerundolo, head of the dermatology service at Dick White Referrals.

Categories: Journal news

Welfare at slaughter, good workplace and bTB policy positions: a progress report

19 December 2019

BVA is developing new policy position papers in three key areas. BVA Council members were invited to contribute feedback on drafts of each paper.

Categories: Journal news

Policy position on obesity approved

19 December 2019

Introducing a new BVA policy position on obesity in dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and rabbits, BVA President Daniella Dos Santos (pictured) explained that obesity had been identified as a priority animal welfare problem in BVA’s Animal Welfare Strategy.

BVA and the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) had collaborated on the new policy position, which covered issues such as body condition scoring, promoting healthy body images, the role of vet professionals, vet practices and owners in supporting early intervention, and weight management programmes and dietary choices. She noted that there had also been discussion of whether to recognise obesity as a disease.

However, Jo Oakden of BVNA explained that BVNA strongly opposed classifying obesity as a disease. There were concerns that doing so would create barriers – for example, by requiring a diagnosis to be made by a vet before a vet nurse could get involved in managing a case....

Categories: Journal news

Pain management during castration and tail docking of sheep

19 December 2019

Council was asked to approve a new BVA policy position on sheep castration, tail docking and pain management

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'Under care and 24/7 cover review

19 December 2019

BVA will be contributing to the RCVS’s review of ‘under care’ and 24/7 cover and is convening a working group to help it develop its position.

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Council news in brief

19 December 2019
Avian influenza

A case of low pathogenic H5 avian influenza had been confirmed on a farm in Suffolk on 10 December, the day before the Council meeting. BVA President Daniella Dos Santos reported that investigations into the source of the outbreak were underway. She also noted that the case had been identified by a private veterinary surgeon who had been investigating a drop in egg production on the premises, demonstrating the vital importance of disease surveillance.

African swine fever

A member of BVA’s South East region had written to compliment the Association on the work it had been doing to raise awareness of African swine fever, and to encourage continued action to remind vets and the public of the threat posed by this disease.

New board director

Council elected Chris May to the BVA Board to serve a three-year term. Emma Callaghan, a member of the Appointments...

Categories: Journal news

Team work makes the dream work

19 December 2019

Melissa Beck and Lucy Gunn are joint venture partners at Vets4Pets Nuneaton, the practice that this year won the New Practice of the Year award at the company’s National Partner Conference.

Categories: Journal news

In memory

19 December 2019

The daughter of a grateful client is running a marathon in memory of her vet who died in March. Alison Drake is running the Hong Kong half marathon on 9 February 2020. Her JustGiving page explains that she is running for MIND in memory of Salisbury-based vet Mark Richer – ‘a remarkable and gifted veterinary surgeon who came into our lives and then was taken away very suddenly. He was the kindest human being you could ever meet...His vet skills were exceptional and we all miss this young, vibrant, sweet, kind, beautiful, exceptional, gentle, softly spoken human being and vet.’ Mark, who qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1993, was a small animal practitioner as well as a barrister. Donations in his memory may be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cherry-drake

Categories: Journal news

People

19 December 2019

Vet nurse Sarah James has been appointed veterinary relationship and technical claims manager for pet insurance business Bought By Many. With six years’ experience, she was previously a head vet nurse with Independent Vetcare. She will be responsible for working with UK vet practices to ensure claims are straightforward and clear for both pet owners and vets. Her role will also involve evaluating technical claims using her extensive knowledge of the industry and treatments. The company was voted the UK’s most trusted pet insurance provider in the Moneywise Customer Service Awards earlier this year and says it has made continuous improvements to its policies to make insurance better for everyone.

Philippa Weston from Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, in Solihull, won an award for the best abstract related to neuroimaging at the annual conference of the European College of Veterinary Neurology, which was held in Wroclaw, Poland, recently....

Categories: Journal news

Applications open for funding welfare studies

19 December 2019

The Humane Slaughter Association (HSA) is inviting applications for its student/trainee scholarships. The scholarships were established in 1986 as a memorial to the late Dorothy Sidley, general secretary to the HSA for 48 years, to provide funding to enable students or trainees in the industry to carry out a project that is aimed at improving the welfare of production animals during marketing, transport and slaughter. The project may be carried out as an integral part of a student’s coursework over an academic year or during the summer vacation.

The deadline for applications is midnight on 28 February 2020. To apply, or find further information on these and other grants that the HSA offers, see www.hsa.org.uk/grants

Categories: Journal news

Is 24-hour cover sustainable?

19 December 2019

Described as ‘one of the most fundamental reviews of RCVS guidance in recent years’ the college’s review of ‘under care’ and, within it, the provision of 24-hour emergency cover, is likely to have far-reaching implications. The review process is set to last until at least November next year, and the RCVS will be gathering evidence and seeking views from the profession and more widely.

The requirement for vets to make provision for 24-hour emergency cover has been scrutinised every four or five years or so over the past 15 years. Significantly, in 2005, following a review, the RCVS council agreed that vets in practice no longer needed to ‘make adequate arrangements for the provision of 24-hour cover’ but should instead ‘take steps to provide 24-hour emergency cover’. Vets were obliged to ‘not unreasonably’ refuse to provide first aid and pain relief for any animal of a species treated by...

Categories: Journal news

Obesity not recognised as a disease by BVA

19 December 2019

By Josh Loeb

Obesity is not a disease, BVA council has decided.

The position runs contrary to a decision by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) to classify obesity as a disease.

The American Medical Association also classifies it as a disease but the NHS does not.

Vets and vet nurses with differing views on whether obesity should be formally classified as a disease in dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and rabbits aired their views at a BVA council meeting last week.

The debate was followed by a vote, and the majority of council members supported BVA’s policy position stating that, while obesity ‘can result from disease and often causes secondary disease processes’, formally classifying it as a disease could have unintended negative consequences.

The BVA will therefore retain its position of not recognising obesity as a disease. However, the association does ‘strongly support’ the position that obesity should...

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News section PDF

19 December 2019
Categories: Journal news

Shoppers making more ethical food choices

19 December 2019

By Matthew Limb

New consumer research has revealed a ‘crisis of confidence’ in organic produce and a mistrust of food labelling.

It shows the UK food sector faces a ‘credibility gap’ as shoppers make more demands for ethical and sustainable food.

According to ‘UK Food Trends: a snapshot in time’, which surveyed 1000 UK consumers, 85 per cent say it is important or fairly important for supermarkets to source their produce ethically.

But more than one in four consumers (27 per cent) are ‘not confident at all’ that food products labelled as organic are truly grown or reared using organic methods.

Only 19 per cent of consumers are very confident that the vegetarian and vegan food they consume does not contain meat.

In an industry built on trust, this signals that this trust is under threat

Food sector data analysts Lloyd’s Register, who compiled the report, said: ‘In...

Categories: Journal news

Vet to take up seat in the House of Commons

19 December 2019

Equine vet Neil Hudson has become parliament’s first vet MP since 1880, following his general election win last week.

Hudson won for the Conservative Party in Penrith and the Border, with 28,875 votes – 60 per cent of constituency votes cast – with Labour in a distant second place.

He tweeted that he was ‘completely humbled to be elected’, thanked his constituents and pledged to ‘do my best to represent you all whether you voted for me or not’.

Hudson vows to get Brexit done, to move forward and focus on important domestic issues

Before the election, Hudson had vowed to ‘get Brexit sorted, to move forward and focus on important domestic issues’.

He said he had ‘big shoes to fill’, as he was elected to replace Rory Stewart, who left the Conservative Party earlier this year to stand as an independent candidate for the position of Mayor...

Categories: Journal news

Marking 100 years of women as vets

19 December 2019

In a profession that now sees more women than men practising in the UK, it’s hard to imagine a time when there were no female vets. But this month marks 100 years since an Act of Parliament allowed women to practise as vets for the first time.

The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 did away with the legal barriers that stopped women entering the profession. It also permitted women to be awarded university degrees and, in turn, enabled Aleen Cust to become the first female vet recognised by the RCVS in 1922.

To celebrate the centenary of this groundbreaking legislation, the BVA is running a #StandingOnHerShoulders campaign, during which it will share stories of inspiring female vets of the past, present and future on its social media channels and website.

Here, we publish a shortened version of a blog in which four contemporary female vets describe their inspirations and...

Categories: Journal news

In brief

19 December 2019
More cases of Alabama rot found

Five new cases of cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) – otherwise known as Alabama rot – were confirmed last week by veterinary specialist referral centre Anderson Moores.

The findings bring the total number of cases this year to 23. The five latest confirmed cases of the disease, which can be fatal to dogs, were found in Wallingford in Oxfordshire, Horsham in West Sussex, Malmesbury in Wiltshire and two in Hungerford in Berkshire.

In total, the UK has now had 198 confirmed cases of CRGV, across 40 counties, since 2012.

Greater Manchester, Dorset, Devon and the New Forest in Hampshire have been hotspots.

David Walker, an expert on the condition, said owners should seek advice from their vet if their dog developed unexplained skin lesions. There is currently no known way to prevent a dog from contracting the disease. Vets4Pets has developed an...

Categories: Journal news

Growing problem of pet fish that become too big

19 December 2019

Georgina Mills reports on a new campaign aimed at educating the public about pet fish

Categories: Journal news

Lean on me: the use of therapy animals

19 December 2019

By Matthew Limb

Therapy pets are in demand these days – and not just at Christmas. Staff may be in short supply but animals seem to be increasingly popping up in caring roles in hospitals and other settings.

Dogs are the most common therapy pet. Owners or handlers and their dogs are usually approved by a recognised organisation for so-called ‘animal assisted interventions’. Pets as Therapy and Therapet are two prominent visiting programmes in the UK.

Sometimes people just need a cuddle

There is something about a dog. Sometimes people just need a break in their routine

Pets As Therapy has 6000 registered volunteers with their ‘behaviourally assessed’ animals – overwhelmingly dogs. Candice Hughes, a New Yorker and retired foreign correspondent living in London, signed up with her bouncy, affable labradoodle named Broadway. They passed the charity’s assessments for suitability, temperament and handling control and work ‘as a...

Categories: Journal news