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Representing the profession

16 May 2019

I was disappointed, to put it mildly, to see the photograph of the BVA president (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 563) at Westminster Hall, in which he is shown tie-less.

This person is the representative of the BVA and at least one member is appalled. Quite disgraceful and, in addition, an insult to his hosts.

Categories: Journal news

Death notice

16 May 2019

Jacob On 30 April 2019, Michael Bruce Jacob, BSc, MRCVS, of Haverfordwest, Dyfed. Mr Jacob qualified from Edinburgh in 1953.

doi: 10.1136/vr.l3048

Categories: Journal news

The wonderful people dressed in green

16 May 2019

When I started working as a vet I was terrible at placing intravenous catheters. I’m pretty sure in that first fortnight I ruined every vein I touched; bruising both the animals I was attempting to treat and my own self confidence in the process. But one day, after blowing the veins of yet another vomiting dog, I was ushered into a side room by one of the veterinary nurses. She told me she had been watching me and had worked out where I was going wrong. She suggested we place the next catheter together and she would talk me through it. Later that day, under her direction, I placed the catheter first time into another patient. It was magic. I could finally do it.

At vet school I was told that if I was lucky in my first job the veterinary nurses would look after me. At the time...

Categories: Journal news

Fulfilment at work

16 May 2019

‘[As a vet] I could finally help pets how I had always dreamed. However, something was lacking . . . What an unsettling thought for someone who had knit her entire life’s identity with the singular goal of being a veterinarian. I cannot convey how difficult this notion was to process and acknowledge to myself, even more so to others.’

This is a quote from American vet Maranda Elswick in an open letter to the veterinary community posted on her website the Meowing Vet. Does this ring true for you?

It’s common throughout our career to find that work may no longer have the same fulfilling effect. Our sense of purpose is subject to change and is critical to our sense of fulfilment, and so it is important to note that:

  • Purpose is built, not found,

  • It is not enough to have a sense of purpose once...

  • Categories: Journal news

    Who do you think you are?

    9 May 2019

    Ever found yourself convinced you’re a fraud, on the brink of being exposed as having fluked your way through your veterinary career? Imposter syndrome is far from a rare phenomenon but, as Penny Barker explains, there are ways to fight back.

    Categories: Journal news

    Coping with confidence

    9 May 2019

    Confidence can be a fickle friend, waxing and waning as your career changes and life evolves. Here Ebony Escalona describes how best to deal with the periods when it deserts you.

    Categories: Journal news

    Keith Martin Butt

    9 May 2019

    A kind, conscientious and compassionate vet with an innate charm and sense of humour. His clients benefited from his ability to make the darkest moments seem a bit brighter.

    Categories: Journal news

    Volunteering showed me the value of charities to equine welfare

    9 May 2019

    Ben Sturgeon left private practice to join an equine charity that provides veterinary care for animals in developing countries, where a clinic session might involve seeing hundreds of animals.

    Categories: Journal news

    VPHA Presents First Life Membership

    9 May 2019

    Jason Aldiss has been appointed the first life member of the Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA). After qualifying as a vet from Massey University, New Zealand, he spent two years in practice before moving to the UK where he was appointed managing director of the newly formed company Eville and Jones. He joined the VPHA and was president from 2007 to 2010 – getting involved in steering the association and promoting its activities.

    At its annual general meeting during its conference in March, the VPHA agreed that creating life memberships would be a fitting way of recognising the unwavering and selfless support of members, and that Aldiss should be the first recipient of this award. At the conference dinner, the current president Lewis Grant outlined Aldiss’ many achievements and sterling efforts before presenting him with life membership, which came as a complete surprise.

    ...

    Categories: Journal news

    Top poultry award for Nottingham professor

    9 May 2019

    Paul Barrow, professor of veterinary infectious diseases in the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, was awarded the prestigious Robert Fraser Gordon Medal for services to poultry science at a ceremony at the World Poultry Science Association’s spring meeting in Edinburgh on 10 April. Specialising in poultry and pig diseases, he is recognised internationally for his expertise in Salmonella in poultry and has considerable experience in Campylobacter and Mycobacterium. He is also a leading expert in the use of bacteriophages. As part of his award, he was invited to deliver the 2019 Gordon Memorial Lecture, which was entitled ‘Novel biological approaches to controlling bacterial infection’.

    Categories: Journal news

    Valuing women in the workforce

    9 May 2019

    Over recent weeks you may have seen stories in both the veterinary press and national newspapers on the gender pay gap.

    If you are looking for equality, the picture is not heartening. The most recent gender pay gap report from the World Economic Forum estimated it would take 202 years for equal pay to be achieved at the current rate of progress. And that the gap had actually widened in favour of men in nearly half of the companies in the UK.

    In the veterinary sector, the figures also do not look good, but it is difficult to tell if there is unequal pay in individual companies and organisations, as the figures demanded by the UK government do not compare pay for men and women doing equal work.

    This is certainly the argument put forward by many companies in the veterinary sector – lower paid jobs, such as...

    Categories: Journal news

    'Licensing for pets and children is not the same

    9 May 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    A Vet who campaigns to improve welfare for exotic animals has criticised a chief veterinary officer’s comments about how licensing prospective pet owners could be seen as similar to forcing people to be licensed to have children.

    The comments were made last month by Scottish chief vet Sheila Voas at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association congress (VR, 13 April 2019, vol 184, p 459).

    During a panel debate, Voas said she personally favoured a licensing system – but also expressed doubts about whether the idea would be politically saleable.

    ‘My personal view, and it is a personal view, is it would be very good to have some sort of licensing regime for anybody wanting to get an animal,’ Voas said. ‘As part of that, they would have to pass some sort of basic test . . . where they would have to demonstrate at...

    Categories: Journal news

    News section PDF

    9 May 2019
    Categories: Journal news

    Companies agree to sustainable food policies

    9 May 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    Vets Now, Vets4Pets, Goddard Veterinary Group and the RCVS are each working on creating their own individual sustainable food procurement policies.

    The quartet’s pledge followed the BVA’s call – made in its recent policy paper on sustainable animal agriculture – for practices to develop their own ethically conscious policies for use when providing animal-derived food to hospitalised patients or to practice staff.

    Such a policy could also be employed when selecting venues for staff meetings or appointing caterers for a workplace event.

    The BVA is urging the veterinary profession to prioritise use of higher welfare and/or environmentally friendly products – for example, the association itself will only buy eggs, chicken and pork that is free range and British.

    In addition, only RSPCA-assured farmed fish or Marine Stewardship Council-assured wild fish may be used when catering for BVA events. The BVA policy on food procurement...

    Categories: Journal news

    Social media disciplinary is a 'wake-up call

    9 May 2019

    By Josh Loeb

    A Decision by an RCVS disciplinary committee that a vet was guilty of serious professional misconduct in posting pictures of clients’ pets on social media without permission should serve as a wake-up call for the profession.

    That is the view of Carol Gray, a doctoral researcher who specialises in informed consent and communication in veterinary settings.

    Gray said the result of the disciplinary hearing involving Natalia Strokowska – highlighted last week in Vet Record (VR, 4 May 2019, vol 184, p 538) – should prompt vets and practices to take greater care about what they post on social media.

    Particular care was needed, she said, when it came to posting pictures of ‘unusual’ breeds that might make third-party identification of owners easier.

    Her warning came as several vets privately admitted to Vet Record they would ‘be more careful’ in future about what they posted online. ‘I...

    Categories: Journal news

    Cat photography competition launches for 2019

    9 May 2019

    Feline charity International Cat Care (iCatCare) has started its search for the world’s best cat photographers, with the launch of its annual photography competition.

    This year’s theme is ‘Cat-Human Relationships’. Amateur and professional photographers are invited to enter photographs of cats and humans together. The judges want to see a range of relationships covering an assortment of situations, locations and ages. Photographs could feature pet cats with their owners in the home, street cats with the public, and cats with those who work with them (eg, vet professionals with their patients).

    The competition, which was first launched in 2013, is now open for entries and will run until 1 July 2019. Twelve winning images will be selected by the judges to feature in the charity’s 2020 calendar, with one of these being crowned the overall winner. All winners will receive a certificate, copies of the calendar and a selection...

    Categories: Journal news

    TB incidents down, but cattle slaughter up in Wales

    9 May 2019

    By Kathryn Clark

    The Welsh government is to clamp down on a minority of farmers who are flouting requirements for postmovement TB testing of cattle.

    Updating the Welsh Assembly on progress with the TB eradication programme in Wales, Lesley Griffiths, minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, said last week that it was ‘disappointing’ some farmers in the low TB area of Wales were not following the rules on postmovement testing.

    ‘This minority risk spoiling it for everyone and must accept their responsibilities in protecting their herd and the wider area,’ Griffiths said.

    ‘We are tightening our enforcement protocols to take action where necessary.’

    Postmovement TB testing of all cattle moved into the low TB area of Wales has been required since October 2017.

    Griffiths reported that, in 2018, there were 746 new TB incidents in Wales, a 5 per cent decrease on 2017. However, 11,233 cattle were slaughtered...

    Categories: Journal news

    Recruitment and retention survey results are 'surprising

    9 May 2019

    Almost half of all vets say they are either ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to search for a new job within the next two years – but of these fewer than 10 per cent say they want to quit the profession entirely.

    That was among the findings from a survey of thousands of vets carried out by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

    Renate Weller, BEVA’s president, called the finding ‘surprising – in a good way’, saying she had expected the proportion wanting to entirely quit veterinary work to be higher.

    ‘I’m not saying 10 per cent is good,’ she said in a video released by BEVA. ‘I think we should still try and reduce that, but certainly I expected it to be a higher number.’

    She added: ‘We’re not doing too badly compared with, for example, a recent survey of GPs [in the...

    Categories: Journal news

    'Significant breakthrough in evolutionary avian genetics

    9 May 2019

    Georgina Mills discusses recent research into songbirds, which looked at how they differ from other avian species

    Categories: Journal news

    In brief

    9 May 2019
    Reports of dogs in hot cars hit three-year high

    The annual ‘Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ campaign, which is run by a number of organisations including the BVA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the National Police Chiefs Council and the RSPCA, was launched for 2019 on 6 May.

    The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving a dog in a car on a hot day. Temperatures inside a car can quickly rise – when it’s 22 degrees outside, within an hour the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 47 degrees.

    Despite running the campaign annually, figures from the RSPCA show that 2018 was the busiest in three years for calls about dogs in cars, with over 8000 emergency calls being made. This equates to a 5 per cent increase from 2017 and a 15 per cent increase from 2016.

    Figures from the BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession...

    Categories: Journal news