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‘Significant changes’ to VN Council approved
Liz Cox, chair of the VN Council.

Council size and composition to be altered 

The RCVS Council has approved substantial changes to the set-up of the VN Council.

Key changes include reducing the term of office for VN councillors, from four years to three years. There will now be a three-term limit for elected members, with a two-year gap before they can stand for election again.

The size and composition of VN Council has also been changed, to six elected veterinary nurses, two appointed veterinary nurses, two appointed veterinary surgeons and four appointed lay members. Previously, council was made up of eight elected vet nurses, four appointed vets and four appointed lay members.

As a result of the reduced number of elected VN councillors, there will be no VN Council elections in 2018, as outgoing members will not need replacing.

VN Council members developed the proposals following a series of workshops at the start of this year.

Liz Cox, chair of the VN Council, said: “When we started to consider the governance of VN Council it became clear that the current arrangements did not accurately reflect the breadth of skills and knowledge amongst veterinary nurses that would be required to meet the challenges confronting the profession and make decisions on its behalf.

“By making the composition of VN Council more flexible by introducing shorter terms and appointed veterinary nurses, we hope that we can widen the pool of potential members, bring in ‘new blood’ to provide a wider range of experience and different perspectives and, as a result, enhance the quality of debate and decision-making amongst the members.”

The council will also make “concerted efforts” to provide additional skills and training on the roles and responsibilities of new members. A mentoring system will pair new members with existing councillors who can “show them the ropes,” Liz Cox added.

Full details on the agreed changes can be found here

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
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New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”