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Nottingham vet school to double student numbers
RCVS figures show that 18 per cent of non-UK EU vets are actively looking for work outside the UK due to concerns about Brexit.
New plans come as profession faces rising vet shortage 

The University of Nottingham is set to double its intake of veterinary students, by implementing a new ‘dual-intake’ strategy.

In the new academic year, 150 students will take up their place at vet school in September this year, followed by a further 150 in April 2020.

The move comes as the profession is facing a shortage of qualified vets - a situation that is expected to worsen after Brexit.

RCVS figures show that almost a third of non-UK EU vets are considering moving back home, while 18 per cent are actively looking for work outside the UK due to concerns about Brexit.

Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s chief veterinary officer, confirmed in November that the UK is experiencing an 11 per cent shortfall in existing vet numbers. The need for certification for food exports is estimated to rise by 200 per cent in the run-up to Brexit.

Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science will be increasing its staff to enable the school to keep class sizes small.

Foundation dean Professor Gary England said: “Our team of dedicated and entrepreneurial staff is delighted that a move to a dual intake will open up this fantastic opportunity to many more students without increasing group sizes and while maintaining the excellent student experience which is synonymous with Nottingham.”

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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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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.