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Recruitment problems at ‘crisis’ level - survey
There were concerns that Brexit would reduce the supply of vets from the EU, compounding the issues with recruitment.
SPVS survey highlights ongoing shortage of vets 

More than 50 per cent of veterinary practices that responded to the latest SPVS recruitment survey did not have a full staff of veterinary surgeons. Nearly 30 per cent said this had a severe impact on their ability to cover out of hours work.

The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) carried out the survey between 25 September and 6 October this year.

Most of the respondents had attempted to recruit a veterinary surgeon in the past 12 months (87.6 per cent), but only 22 per cent said they found it easy to find a suitable applicant (defined as taking less than three months). This is compared with 30 per cent in the 2015 SPVS survey.

Ten veterinary practices did not receive any applications at all, and 61 per cent reported fewer responses to job adverts than the last time they advertised. Almost half (47 per cent) took more than three months to fill a position, whilst 31 per cent had failed to find a suitable candidate at the time of responding. The most common reason for candidates to reject a job offer was unwillingness to do out of hours work.

In further comments, 14 respondents said the profession’s recruitment problems are at ‘crisis’ level. A shortage of vets, particularly those with experience, was widely recognised. A number of respondents felt that universities are failing to select suitable candidates and adequately prepare them for life in practice, particularly general practice.

There were also concerns that Brexit would reduce the supply of vets from the EU, compounding the issues with recruitment. Some called for the profession to be placed on the skills shortage list to allow recruitment from other overseas countries.

The survey also found 37 per cent of veterinary surgeons were planning to reduce their working hours in the foreseeable future, while six per cent had plans to move to a different sphere of work entirely. It was felt that factors leading vets to reduce hours or leave the profession were stress, not wanting to do out of hours, wanting to work fewer hours to maintain a good work-life balance, lack of recognition and low pay.

In total, the survey drew 276 responses, 238 from vets and 38 from practice managers. This is down from 326 responses to a similar survey in 2015.

To read the full survey, visit: https://spvs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/SPVS-Recruitment-Survey-2017.pdf

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Amur leopard cubs caught on camera

News Story 1
 A pair of Amur leopards have been captured on camera for the first time since their birth. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced the birth in July, but with human presence being kept to a minimum, it was not known how many cubs had been born.

Motion sensitive cameras have now revealed that two cubs emerged from the den - at least one of which may be released into the wild in Russia within the next two or three years. The Amur leopard habitat is not open to the public, to help ensure the cubs retain their wild instincts and behaviour. Image © RZSS 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop