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VDS launches new initiatives for the profession
"These important initiatives will enable the VDS to use our unique knowledge and experience to support and empower veterinary professionals..."

Vetsafe and VDS Training aim to enhance veterinary care 

The Veterinary Defence Society (VDS) has announced the launch of new initiatives to help understand why mistakes happen and provide solutions to improve veterinary care.

Vetsafe is a confidential service for significant event reporting and risk management.

A website and accompanying app capture information about incidents in practice that result in patient harm or other losses. Data gathered will help the VDS and its members to understand these mistakes, provide feedback and develop solutions.

The society also launched VDS Training, which will use data gathered from Vetsafe to create and deliver multi-model training, tools and strategies to improve care, reduce risk and develop individuals, teams and businesses.

VDS chief executive Norman Macfarlane, said: “I am very pleased to announce the launch of Vetsafe and extension of the Society’s training provision through VDS Training.

"These important initiatives will enable the VDS to use our unique knowledge and experience to support and empower veterinary professionals, teams and businesses to achieve their personal and collective aspirations.

“They also go straight to the heart of our mutuality by helping to reduce veterinary risk and, in turn, we anticipate lower the frequency of claims or the severity of claims when they do happen. This benefits the members of the Society and helps the VDS to continue its support of the profession.”

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Stephen Fry lends voice to frog conservation film

News Story 1
 Comedian and author Stephen Fry has lent his voice to a new animation that hopes to raise awareness of deadly ranavirus, which is threatening the UK’s frogs.

Research by ZSL, who created the short film, suggests that at least 20 per cent of ranavirus cases over the past three decades, could be attributed to human introductions. This includes pond owners introducing fish, frog spawn and plants from other environments.

Amphibian disease expert Dr Stephen Price said: “People can help stop the spread by avoiding moving potentially infected material such as spawn, tadpoles, pond water and plants into their own pond. Disinfecting footwear or pond nets before using them elsewhere will also help.” 

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News Shorts
Scotland to fund OV training

The Scottish Government has revealed it will fund training for new Official Veterinarians (OVs), covering the Essential Skills, Statutory Surveillance and TB Testing.

Funding will also be provided for the revalidation of Essential Skills, as well as TB Testing for existing OVs. This is the second round of financial support from the Scottish Government for OVs.

BVA president Simon Doherty said he is “delighted” with the announcement.

“Official Veterinarians’ work in safeguarding animal health and welfare and ensuring food safety is invaluable,” he added. “This announcement has come at a crucial time, with Brexit and an uncertain future ahead, the role of OVs will be more important than ever in enabling the UK’s trade in animal products.