Burgess Pet Care has announced the full judging panel for its new awards to celebrate the work of rabbit friendly veterinary surgeons, nurses and practices across the UK.

The Burgess Excel Vet Awards have three categories: UK Rabbit Vet of the Year; Rabbit Nurse of the Year and Rabbit Veterinary Practice of the Year.

The newly-announced judging panel is made up of: 

  1. Dr Suzanne Moyes MVB, MRCVS, Veterinary Director at Burgess Pet Care and lead spokesperson for Rabbit Awareness Week;
  2. Rae Todd, Director of the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund, the UK’s largest rabbit welfare charity;
  3. Dr John Chitty BVetMed CertZooMed MRCVS, co-director of a small animals/exotics practice in Andover and outgoing president of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association 2017-2018;
  4. Dani Sewell MICPR, Communications Director at Fred Marketing, a marketing agency which specialises in the pet / animal welfare sector.

The judges will be looking for exceptional knowledge of rabbit care and husbandry and evidence of continued commitment to educating the public on how to care for rabbits correctly. Practices will be assessed on their provision of rabbit-specific materials and their efforts throughout the year to engage with rabbit owners.

Suzanne Moyes, said: "Our work with Rabbit Awareness Week has provided a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the positive impact veterinary practices can have on rabbit welfare. Research consistently demonstrates that there are too many rabbit owners out there who are neglecting the welfare needs of their pets and education is key to addressing this.

"Many vets and vet nurses will have first-hand experience encountering rabbits in practice that have been admitted with entirely preventable illnesses or diseases. As a profession, if we can spend more time engaging with and informing pet owners on how to correctly care for their rabbits, we can drive significant change that positively benefits their lives. That’s a unique position for vets and vet nurses to be in."

John Chitty (pictured right), co-director of Anton Vets in Andover said: "Rabbits are one of the UK’s most popular pets but unfortunately they’re also one of the most neglected. Despite the growing threat of fatal diseases such as RVHD2, vaccine numbers are dangerously low and far too many rabbits are being seen with nutritional and husbandry related issues.

"These awards will highlight the importance of providing the right levels of care and attention to learning the particular needs of rabbits. Doing so has numerous benefits, not just for the UK’s pet rabbits, but for the veterinary practices that are taking care of them too, as research shows rabbit owners will seek out practices that specialise in rabbit care as a preference."

Nominations for the Burgess Excel Vet Awards will open in March 2020 and winners will be announced at the London Vet Show 2020.

One winner from each of the three categories will receive a cash prize of £500.

Veterinary surgeons, nurses and other interested parties can register their interest in the Burgess Excel Vet Awards now by visiting www.burgesspetcare.com/excel-vet-awards.  


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