They say that they've been aware of minor interruptions to the supply of such vaccines throughout 2022.
However, a significant, pan-European logistical problem being experienced by Boehringer Ingelheim has raised the prospect of a further reduction in supplies in the coming months.
BEVA is liaising with the three vaccine manufacturers to quantify the impact of the shortage and to consider solutions, both to minimise the threat to equine health and to prevent disruption to equestrian competition.
Marc Laemmer, equine business head at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, said: “We are currently experiencing a European-wide supply issue relating to our equine influenza and influenza-tetanus vaccines.
"This has been caused by unexpected issues following the implementation of a technology upgrade and is not a product or quality issue.
"This means that some vet practices will have difficulty obtaining sufficient influenza vaccines and there may be a shortage in the UK market.
"We understand the importance of these vaccines to equine welfare, and we are continuing to work tirelessly to find a solution so that we can return to normal supply as soon as possible.”
Amanda Melvin, equine business manager at MSD Animal Health, said: “Based on prior demand, MSD’s equine vaccines Equilis Prequenza and Equilis Prequenza Te are in full supply.
"MSD have taken steps to protect as many horses as possible at this time.
"We will continue to supply existing customers with the available MSD stock on ‘allocation’ and, where possible, to allocate stock to additional customers. Allocations are being made to our veterinary customers based on their historical demand which we believe is the most efficient way to manage the available supplies.”
Rebecca Cabrejas, equine business unit manager at Zoetis, said: “Demand for our vaccines currently exceeds what we can supply.
"Whilst we have adequate stocks to fulfil current customers’ orders unfortunately, we are not in a position to be able to supply new customers at this time.
"We will continue to work with BEVA to limit the impact of the current shortages.”
The company says the webinars will equip veterinary professionals with strategies to strengthen wellbeing both individually and for practice teams.
Lauren Hayes, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager at Royal Canin, said: “Working within clinical veterinary practice can be hugely rewarding and enriching, but it cannot be ignored that our industry also has its challenges.
"Veterinary surgeons have a significantly higher risk of suicide compared to the general population and mental health issues around work life balance and compassion fatigue are widespread.
"Through our webinar series, we hope to encourage conversations around mental health and help provide advice directly from leading experts.”
The one-hour webinars will take place at 7pm every Wednesday throughout September.
To help practices make the most of the week, TVM is providing waiting room displays, client leaflets, social media packs and online information to help educate pet owners on the symptoms of poor eye health.
The company will also be holding an webinar for vets and nurses which will be published during the week.
Will Peel, Product Manager at TVM said: "Eye problems in pets are common and brachycephalic breeds are particularly prone to them due to a number of compounding factors.
"They commonly suffer from corneal ulcers and are nearly four times more likely to develop dry eye than other breeds, so Pet Eye Health Awareness Week is focused on helping pet owners understand the issues, identify eye problems early and seek veterinary advice quickly".
So far this year the charity says it has received 144 requests from people asking for it to take in or help rehome their horse or pony through the Blue Cross Home Direct service.
More than 70% cited personal or financial circumstances as the reason.
In comparison for the full year of 2021, 43 (or around 15%) of a total of 277 intake and rehoming requests specified financial reasons.
In 2020 a total of 32 (around 14%) out of 231 requests stated financial reasons.
Annabelle Taylor, Rehoming Coordinator at Blue Cross, said: “It is distressing to see that the number of people seeking rehoming support because of financial reasons is already more than double last year’s annual total and we still have a third of the year to go.
According to the Spring 2022 Voice of the Profession survey, one in four cats (24%) seen in practices are not having all of their welfare needs met.
The issues identified by vets as the most pressing at their practice were:
With recruitment and retention issues in many sectors of the profession, the Association says flexible working might improve job satisfaction and therefore retention.
Other statistics from the survey showed that whilst levels of flexible working have risen from 44% in 2019 to 50% in 2021, 36% of those who already work flexibly 36% would like more flexibility.
The most common reasons vets gave for wanting to work more flexibly were: to allow more time for leisure activities (56%), lifestyle needs (50%), caregiving responsibilities (28%), health reasons (28%), for professional development (22%) and for voluntary work (16%).
The type of flexibility vets were hoping to achieve also varied. Working part time was the most common type of flexible working sought (31%), followed by homeworking (16%), flexitime (13%) and compressed hours (5%).
As part of its campaign, the BVA has launched "Flexible working: Embracing flexibility in the veterinary profession", a booklet which includes facts, figures and case studies to help demonstrate how flexible working can benefit both employers and employees in a range of different veterinary teams.
The booklet also offers tips and advice on tackling some of the challenges that can arise when introducing increased flexibility into a clinical workplace.
BVA Junior Vice President Malcolm Morley said: “The statistics clearly show that there is a huge appetite for more flexibility in working hours, particularly in clinical practice, where employers have previously been quite hesitant to explore this option.
"We understand that there are potential challenges to allowing more flexibility but we’re hoping to demonstrate that these are not insurmountable.
“It’s vital that the profession recognises that inflexible working patterns contribute to poor retention—recognition is the first stage in finding a solution.
"Embracing developments in flexible working could increase job satisfaction for many team members and ultimately improve retention.”
Malcolm added: “The profession continues to face serious staffing shortages and we understand that the increased pressures on vet teams may make some employers anxious about introducing flexible working at a time when they are already struggling to cover shifts.
"However, the solution does not lie with vet teams working increasingly longer hours; a successful solution will need team members to be involved in supporting each other’s working patterns.
"Promoting a better balance between home and work could be key to supporting many staff who are currently unsure about remaining in the profession or returning to work."
The app, which works on tablets and smartphones, allows vets to e-mail audit results directly to clients following an interactive calf health assessment at the farm.
MSD Animal Health’s youngstock marketing manager Robert Simpson said: “Our new app allows both parties to explore, record and score calf health performance across five core areas to identify the strengths and weaknesses of any rearing unit’s environment and processes.
“Working through a series of 10 questions within each core area – designed to tease out where a rearing unit is in terms of accepted best management practice – allows vet and farmer to quickly pinpoint any areas needing attention.
"What’s more, repeating the checklist every six or 12 months is a great way to keep things on track, allowing both parties to monitor progress against agreed targets”.
For more information about the app, contact your MSD account manager.
The company says the product improves oral health in three ways: cleaning teeth, freshening breath, and helping to reduce the formation of new plaque and tartar.
The stick is spiral-shaped to maximise contact with the teeth.
As the dog chews, a soft centre is released, which targets the bacteria which causes bad breath and plaque.
Dental Care Sticks are available in three sizes.
Jayne Laycock, Vet in Residence at Yumove said: “Poor dental health affects around 80% of the dog population and is the most commonly reported problem in primary care vet practices.
"We know that less than 50% of dog owners use a dental product as regularly as they should.
"Yumove Dental care sticks can be easily incorporated into a dog’s existing routine and have been developed to clean teeth, tackle bad breath and through our ActivBarrier technology, support the balance of bacteria in a dog’s mouth - helping to maintain healthy gums and teeth.”
YuMOVE Dental Care Sticks start at £10.
Apoquel chewable tablets were approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) in November 2021.
Apoquel Chewable contains the same active ingredient, at the same dosing regime, for the same indications as original Apoquel, but in a palatable formulation which, in a field-study of client-owned dogs, was found to have a 91.6% acceptance rate.1
Dr Carly Mason, President of the British Veterinary Dermatology Study Group (BVDSG), said: “The new chewable form of Apoquel provides owners with a means of controlling itch using a tablet that can be given like a treat or mixed with a meal, making it much easier for owners and more acceptable to their pet.
“In many cases, the chewable formulation will be the obvious first-line Apoquel for veterinarians to prescribe to control canine itching while the underlying cause of allergic dermatitis is investigated.”
The association says the new Recognised Internships significantly enhance its existing programme which just listed available internships in equine practice.
Over the past year BEVA has worked with veterinary practices across the UK to develop a set of core skills that should be covered during an internship.
These standards sit alongside BEVA's existing Employment Toolkit which outlines what a new graduate should be considering when applying for a job (such as working hours, pay, CPD allowance).
Roger Smith, BEVA Junior Vice President said: “The new programme gives practices constructive guidance to provide a positive and inspirational introduction to a career as an equine vet, rather than the perhaps rushed and unintentionally unstructured, labour focused junior positions that have been experienced in times past.”
BEVA Chief Executive David Mountford said: “We are delighted that nearly 40 equine veterinary practices have already signed up to our Recognised Internships initiative.
"It is such a positive sign that as a profession we are all committed to ensuring we can offer the best start to those entering the profession.”
Practices interested in joining the scheme should contact Fiona Cunnington - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucy and Rosanna have joined the business in hybrid positions as Novice OVs and will do this alongside working in a clinical practice.
The company says this is a significant milestone for the industry, which has relied on overseas talent for many years.
Eville & Jones says it has now developed a compelling proposition for UK new graduates who want to combine OV work with traditional clinical practice, and vets looking for a lifestyle change or a move away from practice, working flexibly in export certification, abattoir work, certification against standards, or small animal vaccination.
Charles Hartwell, chief executive officer of Eville & Jones said: “The team at Eville & Jones has spent two years developing an attractive proposition to encourage UK-educated veterinary surgeons to consider a career in this field, whether combined with traditional clinical practice, or stand alone.
"We wish Lucy and Rosanna the best of luck and hope they become trailblazers for many others to follow in their footsteps.”
Lucy said: “I’m really excited to be starting my career in veterinary public health where, as an OV, you can positively affect the lives of 1000’s of animals."
Rosanna added: “I’m really proud to have joined the veterinary industry this summer; OVs are instrumental in monitoring and safe-guarding animal welfare in a way that many vets don't realise."
Presented by Louisa Graham PGcertVPS CertAVP(SAM) MRCVS (pictured right), the webinars offer two hours of CPD credits and can be accessed at: https://www.vitaanimalhealth.com/youtube-activation/
Louisa, who has a passion for internal medicine, mentoring and supporting other vets, has built an online following with whom she shares tips and advice.
Vita has also produced two webinars for cat owners which include advice on how to spot signs of OA in cats, when to seek veterinary care and practical tips on how to reduce feline stress.
Vets are encouraged to share these webinars with their clients as a learning tool and source of information.
This brings the total number of UK pet insurance companies that offer FirstVet veterinary consultations with their policies to 19, including Co-op, Costco, PETtrac, ManyPets and CoverMyPet.
Launched in 2016, FirstVet now operates in seven markets: the UK, US, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, delivering more than 30,000 consultations per month.
David Prien, CEO at FirstVet said: “FirstVet was founded with the passionate goal of making pet care more accessible for everyone.
"Our new partnership with Petwise Senior reflects our commitment to ensuring all pets, including senior pets, receive the best possible care they deserve after all those years of companionship, friendship and loyalty.
"Since launching, FirstVet has helped nearly one million pet owners around Europe.
"I really look forward to supporting Petwise Senior pets through our FirstVet app and to the many stories that will come from this great partnership!”
The sessions will allow members of the profession to find out about upcoming College projects and put questions to the RCVS Officer Team, RCVS Council members and senior staff, in a friendly, informal atmosphere.
The first event is taking place at the Hilton Glasgow on William Street at 6:30pm, where there'll be supper and drinks before the main event at 7:30pm, when RCVS President Melissa Donald, RCVS Treasurer Niall Connell, RCVS Senior Vice-President Kate Richards, Junior Vice-President Sue Paterson, VN Council Chair Matthew Rendle, RCVS Registrar Eleanor Ferguson and RCVS CEO Lizzie Lockett will update everyone on College activities and take questions.
The College says that the topics for discussion will be up to the audience but are likely to include workforce issues, the review of RCVS guidance on under care, proposals for legislative reform, VetGDP and the future of extra-mural studies.
Melissa said: “In my opening speech as RCVS President I said that one of the key missions of my presidential year was to talk – and especially listen – to as many members of the professions as I possibly can.
“Relaunching our question time programme after a hiatus will give me the opportunity to do exactly this, as well as giving members of the professions that all-important opportunity to put their questions and concerns directly to us.
"We might not be able to address every problem, but these events give an excellent opportunity for vets and nurses to raise issues, forge connections with their peers and work together to find solutions.
“I hope that many of you will be able to come to our first in-person event in Glasgow but we will also be holding these question times virtually in the future for those people who may struggle to make it to these evening events.
"Rest assured – if you want to be heard, we will find a way to listen.”
The next in-person event is due to take place in Nottingham in January 2023 while the first virtual question time will take place in November 2022.
To register for the Glasgow event visit: tinyurl.com/22pem3d6
In particular, the association says it is looking for people with expertise in the following areas:
VMG President Rich Casey (pictured right) said: “During the last two years alone, we have launched a new suite of ILM-accredited Award in Veterinary Leadership and Management (AVLM) qualifications, together with our evidence-based Leadership Standards Framework.
"We have also announced our intent to support the specific needs of our members more closely through our own congress and other initiatives, as well as helping to guide the wider veterinary profession through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
“We’re proud of what we have achieved so far but we have much more to do.
'We are looking for several new directors with specific skills to help us offer the highest level of support we can to our members in 2023 and beyond.”
The deadline for applications is 3 October 2022.
Organised by The Veterinary Edge in association with Simon Guiton of VETcpd, there will be three streams running throughout, with delegates able to gain 14 hours of CPD – or 16 if prepared to skip the tempting two-course lunches.
Sessions run from 10am to 6pm on the first day (followed by a happy hour in the exhibition) and from 9am to 5.15pm on day two.
A two-day pass for vets costs £285 and a one-day pass £170 plus VAT.
The prices will increase after 31st August.
Passes include access to all three streams, a two-course lunch, other refreshments and the congress handbook, which will include summaries of the sessions.
Accommodation is available at the recently opened Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at Sandy Park; other hotels nearby include a Premier Inn and Holiday Inn Express.
This year’s theme is 'Feline Fine: how to create harmony between physical health and mental wellbeing in your treatment and management of feline cases'.
The scientific programme will include lectures, interactive sessions and in-depth masterclasses from feline experts including Professor Danièlle Gunn-Moore (feline medicine specialist), Dr Sarah Heath (specialist in veterinary behaviour), Dr Matt Gurney (specialist in veterinary anaesthesia) and Professor Clare Rusbridge (specialist in veterinary neurology).
This is the third year that ISFM has hosted an annual congress event online, something the charity says has been a huge success, attracting over 3,000 veterinary professionals from 96 countries in 2021.
Dr Nathalie Dowgray, Head of ISFM said: "Whilst it was fabulous to be back in person in Rhodes this year, we cannot lose sight of the opportunity providing a virtual option gives the veterinary community."
The 2022 ISFM Virtual Congress is open to all veterinary professionals, including nurses, technicians and behaviourists who are interested in the relationship between feline emotions and behaviour, and other disciplines such as neurology, pain management, and internal medicine.
The live launch will feature a short lecture followed by a live Q&A session with iCatCare’s Vicky Halls (Cat Friendly Homing Manager), Linda Ryan (Registered Veterinary Nurse and Behaviourist) and Professor Danièlle Gunn-Moore.
ISFM Veterinary members will automatically receive a ticket to the Virtual Congress as part of their annual membership benefits.
His most recent case was five-year-old bulldog called Jesse.
Guillaume said: "Jesse was suffering from both atlantoaxial instability and a spinal arachnoid diverticulum in the thoracic spine.
“As a result of the two conditions, he had lost a lot of mobility and was dragging his hind legs behind him.
“We decided it was best to carry out two separate operations, prioritising the surgery to tackle the atlantoaxial instability as that was potentially life-threatening.
“I used a new technique for this, adopting a dorsal approach, which involves an insertion through the top of the neck when normally this type of surgery is generally performed ventrally, through the bottom of the neck.
“We have had great success with this approach so far.
"The normal mortality rate is between 5 to 10%, however, we have now done 20 of these procedures together with colleagues, all of which have been successful.
“The main advantage of the technique is it likely reduces the risk of complications, which is why I prefer it.
“With the ventral approach you go through the soft tissue and nerves in the neck which brings the risk of vomiting, regurgitation, megaesophagus, swelling and even tracheal injury.” =
Guillaume has co-authored a publication on the dorsal surgical technique which can be found at: https://doi.org/10.3390/life11101039
The review started with a series of focus groups amongst veterinary professionals across multiple sectors.
This was followed by an analysis of the information gleaned from the focus groups, additional stakeholder submissions, data from the College's Covid surveys, independent research studies and formal legal advice to formulate an online qualitative survey to gain the views and feedback of UK-based veterinary professionals.
In this final stage, the public consultation, all veterinary professionals, vet and vet nurse students, practice managers and all those who work in the veterinary practice team are invited to share the extent to which they agree (or disagree) with each element of the proposed new guidance on ‘under care’, their views on the requirements for a 24/7 follow-up service following a remote prescription and other safeguards, and their feedback on the proposed definition of limited-service providers.
There will also be a consultation with members of the animal-owning public, which will likely include questions asking for information about animal owner experiences with remote prescriptions, the perceived advantages and/or disadvantages of remote prescribing, and views on 24/7 care and how important a service this is to respondents.
Dr Melissa Donald MRCVS, RCVS President and former Chair of the Standards Committee, said: “The past two years have shown us that the veterinary professions are highly capable of adopting new ways of working.
"It also revealed that we can adapt our established ways of practice to better respond to shifts in public expectations and advancements in technology.
"However, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that any changes continue to allow us to provide safe and effective care for our patients, and meet the appropriate expectations of our clients.
“Whilst we recognise and reflect on the need for change, the proposed guidance seeks to protect animal health and welfare and maintain public trust by ensuring that decision-making remains firmly in the hands of individual veterinary surgeons, as to what they, in their professional judgement, consider appropriate in a specific situation.
“This consultation, then, while not a referendum on whether RCVS guidance on ‘under care’ and 24-hour emergency first-aid and pain relief should change – that decision having been made by Standards Committee and approved by Council based on the evidence gathered, including the views of the profession and objective evidence, and legal advice – is a crucial opportunity for veterinary colleagues to tell us whether we have got the draft guidance right, whether the proposed safeguards are sufficient, and whether there is anything we might have missed or should amend.”
Mike, an RCVS Queen’s Medal winner, will be in conversation with Catheryn Partington BVSc CertAVP(VC) MSc MRCVS, Jose Matos DVM DipECVIM (Cardiology) MRCVS European and RCVS Recognised Specialist in Small Animal Cardiology (canine and feline cardiology) and Paul Freeman MA, VetMB, Cert SAO, Dip ECVN, MRCVS (European and RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Neurology) (canine and feline neurology).
During the event, they will be explaining how Improve's new Academy Series can help vet professionals meet their annual CPD targets, learn through self-assessment and reflective study, and bring them to the forefront of medicine in several specialist areas.
Heber Alves, CEO of Improve International, said: “Here at Improve International, we are proud to be providing CPD training alongside the historic and prestigious University of Cambridge for our first Academy Series.
"We are excited to be working with many of its pioneering specialists at the Department of Veterinary Medicine and, as a former vet myself, I look forward to hearing how my fellow veterinarians handled the most difficult challenges of their careers.”
RCVS Knowledge launched the Canine Cruciate Registry on the Amplitude pro registry platform last year.
The automated registry, the first of its kind in veterinary medicine, allows the profession to evaluate the success of surgical techniques, and practitioners to benchmark their performance.
In June, RCVS Knowledge had a poster detailing the purpose, impact and aspirations of the registry accepted at the PROMs research conference, which before now typically only accepted submissions from the field of human medicine.
This, says Amplitude, marks the first step in sharing information about running registries designed to identify best practice in the care and treatment of both animals and people.
Chris Gush, Executive Director of RCVS Knowledge, said: "RCVS Knowledge is proud to be leading the development of clinical audit and registries to support the veterinary professions on their journey to continually improve the care they deliver.
"Registries are key in supporting the professions in understanding first-hand information about our patients with certain conditions, both individually and as a group, contextualizing with information from their owners, and over time, to increase our understanding of that condition.”
In the study1, which was funded by Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), an online questionnaire was completed by 744 snake owners worldwide but predominantly from the UK (68.8%).
The questionnaire investigated housing and husbandry practices and snake health and welfare as measured by clinical signs and behavioural indicators.
Associations between clinical signs, behavioural indicators and housing and husbandry aspects were tested for the three most common snake families: Pythonoids, Boids and Colubrids.
The study found 54.7% of snakes were kept in enclosures shorter in length or height than their body, preventing them from stretching out fully.
10.2% of snakes in the UK were kept in enclosures that do not comply with current recommended guidelines (minimum enclosure length <0.66 of snake length).
Whilst most snake owners (93.1%) reported measuring the temperature in their snakes’ enclosures, 24% of these checked less than the recommended once daily.
When looking at the most commonly owned snake species (royal pythons, corn snakes and common boa constrictors), 47.2% were kept in sub-optimal temperatures for their species.
Furthermore, 48.1% of owners reported not measuring the humidity in their snakes’ enclosure.
Owners reported that many snakes experienced at least one of the listed clinical signs, with the most common issues being skin shedding (28.2%), parasites (11.2%), rostral cuts and scrapes (7.4%) and respiratory problems (5.6%).
Snakes that were kept in enclosures <1 snake length had significantly more clinical signs compared to those snakes kept in enclosures >1 snake length.
Similarly, most snakes were reported to experience at least one of the listed negative behaviours, most commonly interacting with transparent boundaries (52.8%), wincing or withdrawal of head when gently touched (52.4%), putting the head under the substrate (52.1%), unusually high level of activity (51.1%) and attempting to escape (45.9%).
All these negative behaviours have previously been described as associated with captive stress.
Snakes that were reported as having more clinical signs tended to show more reported negative behaviours.
Dr Nicola Rooney, Senior Lecturer in Wildlife and Conservation at Bristol Veterinary School and corresponding author for the paper, said: “Our study has highlighted various concerns for snake welfare.
"The first of these relates to enclosure size, with snakes commonly being kept in vivaria preventing straight-line postures and movement.
"Snakes that were unable to stretch out fully had more clinical signs than those that were able to stretch out fully.
“Whilst we did not find a significant association between temperature or humidity and measures of health and welfare in this study, it is a concern that many snakes were housed in conditions considered sub-optimal for their species.
"We know that appropriate temperature and humidity is vital for maintaining the health of snakes and it would therefore be prudent to investigate these associations further, using methods other than owner reporting.”
Dr Huw Golledge, Animal Welfare Editor-in-Chief, said: “Until now, there has been little empirical data on the housing and husbandry practices of privately kept snakes, and how these impact on their welfare.
"As the first study of this size, this research provides valuable baseline data against which future surveys or welfare interventions can be compared.
“As this survey relies on owner-reported information, it is very likely that many of the frequencies of clinical and behavioural signs are underestimated.
"This demonstrates the need for evidence-based recommendations, and the importance of such recommendations being made accessible to owners to improve snake welfare.”
Photo: Brown and Black Snake in Close Up Photography © deedee Pexels
The awards, which which celebrate initiatives that advance the quality of veterinary care and demonstrate a commitment to using an evidence-based approach, will be open for applications until 13th January 2023.
The two new award categories are Antimicrobial Stewardship and Canine Cruciate Outcomes.
The Canine Cruciate Outcome Awards are to recognise and celebrate individuals and teams who are using Quality Improvement initiatives alongside RCVS Knowledge’s Canine Cruciate Registry (CCR) to monitor and improve their canine cruciate surgery outcomes.
Applications are invited by surgeons and teams who are using the CCR.
The Antimicrobial Stewardship Awards, which are divided into farm animal, equine, and companion animal categories, aim to showcase practical examples where individuals and teams are improving responsible antimicrobial prescribing.
In addition, the charity is looking for entries for its existing awards for students and those who have implemented Quality Improvement (QI) techniques.
The Veterinary Evidence Student Awards enables students from around the world to enhance their academic and research skills by writing a Knowledge Summary and submitting it for publication to Veterinary Evidence, RCVS Knowledge's open access, peer-reviewed journal.
The Quality Improvement Awards showcase the implementation of Quality Improvement techniques which drive improvement within the professions.
Melissa, who was invested at the RCVS AGM last week, graduated from the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine in 1987, starting her career as a food animal intern at Iowa State University in the United States before moving into mixed veterinary practice in Ayrshire in 1990.
Over the next 25 years, she and her husband Kenny developed Oaks Veterinary Centre into a small animal practice with a focus on dentistry.
Melissa was first elected to Council in 2016, was re-elected in 2020 and has served on a number of committees including the Education Committee and Finance & Resources Committee.
Since 2019, she has served as Chair of the Standards Committee, leading the development of proposed new guidance on under care and out-of-hours emergency care and pain relief.
Melissa has also been President of the British Veterinary Association’s Scottish branch and the Ayrshire Veterinary Association and, outside of work, enjoys running, and caring for her dogs, cats and sheep.
In her opening speech as RCVS President, Melissa outlined her sense of community with her fellow vets, as a relatively small but prominent profession that punches above its weight, and how she intended to strengthen this as President.
Melissa said: “When I looked this up in June, there were over 300,000 doctors registered with the General Medical Council.
"We, the veterinary profession, have around 30,000 registered with the RCVS to look after farmed, pet, lab animal, exotic, zoo and wildlife species.
"In other words, all animals EXCEPT the human, and we protect humans too, with public health work!
“Even excluding farmed fish, over 300 million animals are being cared for by 30,000 professional veterinary surgeons and their teams.
"That is the scale of our small but mighty community.
"Being part of a community doesn’t mean we all have to be clones of each other, but a group that can agree to disagree, and is there for each other in times of need.
“With this close proximity to each other, communication is key.
"My mother has offered me many wise words over the years, most frequently being ‘engage brain before opening mouth’ but just as important as speaking is listening and actually hearing what is being said.
"So, over this year I will try to get out and about as much as possible, focus on hearing what our community is saying and engage in many conversations as we work together."
The talks will be free to join live on Zoom, while being simultaneously streamed into the Vet Mums Facebook group.
Following the live stream those on Zoom will be invited to join in a private, unrecorded QnA session.
Liz Barton, co-founder of WellVet and Vet Mums said: “We have spent the last year creating a fab new website for people to access some of the great content WellVet has created over the last few years.
"However, we also noticed a few challenges mentioned with increasing frequency and severity by Vet Mums members.
"It’s fantastic to bring together such great speakers to directly address these issues and provide advice and support to anyone affected.”
For more information, visit www.wellvet.co.uk.
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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