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Landmark report sheds light on discrimination 
Sex discrimination was the most common type reported and was particularly prevalent in academic settings and production animal, equine and mixed practices.

BVA launches ‘Big Conversation’ after “truly shocking” findings 

Nearly a quarter of vets and vet students have experienced or witnessed discrimination in the past year, according to a landmark report by the BVA.

Figures show 16 per cent of vets and vet students surveyed had personally experienced discrimination within a veterinary workplace or learning environment in the past 12 months.

Despite this, only 56 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about discrimination.

Senior colleagues were most commonly responsible for the discrimination, accounting for nearly half of all incidents (47 per cent), while clients accounted for 35 per cent of incidents.

Worryingly, only 12 per cent of respondents were satisfied with how their incident had been handled, which rose to 23 per cent among those who felt able to report the incident.

Sex discrimination was the most common type reported (44 per cent of incidents) and was found to be particularly prevalent in academic settings and production animal, equine and mixed practices.

Race discrimination was the second most commonly reported, accounting for 27 per cent of incidents. Survey participants also reported discrimination relating to age, sexuality, disability and gender reassignment.

Younger vets were more likely to have experienced discrimination than older vets - 27 per cent of those under 35 had experienced discrimination. Female vets were more than twice as likely to experience discrimination than their male colleagues - 19 per cent and eight per cent respectively.

The prevalence of discrimination was also higher among vets from minority ethnic backgrounds, and those who described their sexual orientation as bi, gay or lesbian were more than twice as likely to have experienced discrimination.

'Big Conversation'
BVA’s junior vice-president Daniella Dos Santos called the findings “truly shocking”.

She added: “It is completely unacceptable that so many members of the veterinary team are subject to discrimination not just from clients but from members of our own profession.
 
“Worryingly, it seems that the scale of the issue will come as a surprise to many members of our profession and so it is vital that we all join the conversation and reflect on what role we can play to improve equality and inclusion.

"The veterinary team must become a safe and supportive environment for everyone. We cannot accept anything less for ourselves, for our colleagues and for our profession.”

The BVA is asking all members of the profession to get involved in its ‘Big Conversation’ on equality and inclusion, which is launching this week. Veterinary teams across the UK will be able to join online engagement sessions and BVA members are being asked to share their views with regional representatives ahead of a council meeting on 24 July.
 

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.