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Paraprofessions to be RCVS regulated
RCVS Council members confirmed that two paraprofessional groups have already expressed an interest in being regulated by the college.
Meat inspectors and behaviourists express interest in regulation  

Veterinary and animal health paraprofessionals could be regulated by the RCVS, after a new pathway was approved by the council.

Council members had previously agreed to explore two models by which paraprofessionals could be regulated in future, under powers granted by the Royal Charter in 2015.

At the January 2019 meeting, councillors agreed to adopt both models - the first an accreditation model, which would involve the college accrediting an organisation to regulate the profession, and the second an associate/full regulation model, similar to the level of regulation received by vets and nurses.

The suitability of each model will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the profession. Paraprofessions whose work will need to be underpinned by Schedule 3 reform would need to apply for the associate model.

RCVS Council members confirmed that two paraprofessional groups have already expressed an interest in being regulated by the college - meat inspectors and animal behaviourists. They will now be invited to apply for associate or accredited status.

The college said it is also speaking to a number of other paraprofessional groups, including those representing animal musculoskeletal practitioners and equine dental technicians, about future regulation. However, before these professions could be regulated, the Veterinary Surgeons Act will need to be reformed to ensure these groups have stable legal underpinning for their work.

RCVS president Amanda Boag said the decision was a “real milestone” and “quite possibly the biggest change to our regulatory role since the introduction of the Register of veterinary nurses in 2007.”

David Montgomery, president of the Animal Behaviour and Training Council, said: “The ABTC enthusiastically welcomes the news that the RCVS is expanding its influence to include paraprofessionals. We look forward to exploring the opportunity to demonstrate the professional status of ABTC-registered Animal Trainers and Behaviourists by coming under the regulatory umbrella of the RCVS for the benefit of animal welfare.”
Ian Robinson, a trustee of the Association of Meat Inspectors also welcomed the news. He added: “We believe it will offer enhanced security, opportunity and status, and we look forward to further dialogue to explore the various models in due course.”

There will now be a process of developing new regulatory structures and governing bodies for both professions.

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”