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Legislation to allow RCVS to recognise European veterinary degrees
“These changes do not affect those already registered to practise veterinary surgery in the United Kingdom" - Lord Gardiner of Kimble.
College to continue to register vets from the European Economic Area 

The House of Lords has passed a Statutory Instrument (SI) that will allow the RCVS to continue to register veterinary surgeons from the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit.

The move follows a debate of the Veterinary Surgeons and Animal Welfare (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, introduced by the secretary for rural affairs and biodiversity, Lord Gardiner of Kimble.

It means that after Britain leaves the European Union, the RCVS will be allowed to introduce the Statutory Examination for Membership for EEA and Swiss nationals where they hold a degree that does not meet RCVS educational requirements and standards.

Under the existing Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive, EEA and Swiss nationals with a veterinary degree can automatically join the Register without further assessment. Currently, the Statutory Examination for Membership is only taken by prospective registrants from outside the EEA who hold a qualification that the RCVS does not recognise.

Explaining the amendment, Lord Gardiner said: “If the RCVS is satisfied that the degree the applicant holds meets this requirement and is equivalent to one from a UK veterinary school, there is no further assessment of their skill and knowledge. The Royal College estimates that a large majority of applicants from the EEA will meet this requirement.”

“If the applicant does not hold such a degree, they must undertake and pass a professional examination administered by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. This would help ensure consistency of approach to the regulation of veterinary standards in the future.”

He continued: “These changes do not affect those already registered to practise veterinary surgery in the United Kingdom. Transitional arrangements also ensure that those who are in the process of registering with the RCVS on exit day are entitled to have their application considered under the current rules.”

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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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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.”