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Vets must ‘pull together’ to navigate challenging times ahead
BVA president Simon Doherty with new BVA Scottish branch president Kathleen Robertson.
BVA president addresses guests at annual Scottish Dinner

BVA president Simon Doherty has called on the Scottish veterinary community to work together to navigate the challenging times ahead.

Speaking the BVA’s annual Scottish Dinner last night (21 May), Mr Doherty said: “Vets have high levels of public trust in our insights and expertise, and strong connections with our colleagues, clients and the communities we serve.

“And, in these uncertain times, it’s more crucial than ever that the veterinary community pulls together to navigate the difficult landscape ahead and continues to provide the best possible standards of care.”

Around 80 guests attended the dinner at Scottish Parliament, including the minister for rural affairs and the natural environment, Mairi Gougeon, MSPs, key representatives from animal health and welfare organisations, and colleagues from across the veterinary profession.

During his speech, Mr Doherty spoke about the significant work being done to keep members and stakeholders informed about Brexit. He recognised the contribution non-UK EU vets make to the workforce and asked guests to continue to support BVA’s campaign for vets to be restored to the Shortage Occupation List.

Speaking about wider workforce issues, Mr Doherty praised a range of projects that are underway to address recruitment and retention challenges in Scotland and ensure that vets have access to guidance and support at all stages of their careers.

He also touched on crucial projects that are working to improve mental health provision and signposting both for vets and agricultural communities, saying:

“Poor mental health is a huge issue in our profession and in rural communities.  Only by working together and by supporting one another can we hope to tackle it.”

 

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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.