RSPCA’s chief vet stands for RCVS Council election
The RSPCA’s chief veterinary officer James Yeates is standing for election to the RCVS Council this year, in the hope of helping to ‘make our profession what we want it to be’.
Mr Yeates says he became interested in standing for election during his time on the BVA/RCVS Vet Futures Action Group, which he believes is a ‘golden chance to “shape our destiny” as a profession’.
Describing his vision for the veterinary profession in his candidate manifesto, he writes: ‘Every member should be healthy, supported and confident in what we do. We should each have promising career options open to us in thriving businesses and co-operative teams, balanced by enjoyable lives outside work.
‘We should be the key driving force to improve animal health and welfare in the future, and an essential part of local and global economic, environmental and social concerns. We should be valued by society, and respected by clients, paraprofessionals and human medics - as we deserve.’
He believes an understanding is needed of what members of the profession feel would make them confident in practice and supported by colleagues, including RCVS colleagues. ‘This means empowering us each to be confident in our professional judgments in how to resolve the tensions faced everyday, particularly when owners are absent or fall short of the ideal,’ he explains.
Mr Yeates graduated from the University of Bristol in 2004 and worked in private practice in Yorkshire and the southwest. He is an RCVS Registered Specialist in Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law, and has served on BVA Council, chairing the Ethics and Welfare Committee, which he says raised his awareness of the ‘political context’ of veterinary work, the relationship between the BVA and RCVS, and the ‘support we need to give ourselves as a profession’. He is also a past honorary secretary for SPVS and has assisted the BSAVA Scientific Committee, the Equine Disease Coalition and the RSPCA’s Pig Scientific and Technical Advisory Group.
He says his current role has focused on taking colleagues views and trying to meet their needs, as well as years serving on committees, have taught him how to be forthright, but also tactful, to ensure the best relationships between HQ staff and those on the “front line”’.
Mr Yeates hopes to bring to the RCVS everything he has learned in his work and professional roles, ‘about listening, about working together, and about enthusiasm’.
Ballot papers will be posted to all veterinary surgeons and nurses that are eligible to vote in the week commencing 13 March. All votes must be cast by 5pm of 28 April 2017.