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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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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.