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Vet accuses RCVS of ‘bunker behaviour’
Mr Wray's comments follow recent concerns from the profession about the ongoing debate surrounding telemedicine and remote prescribing.
Comments follow concerns over telemedicine debate 

Vet Jonathan Wray has accused the RCVS of ‘bunker’ behaviour, as he claims recently published council papers held back information on costings, and did not acknowledge general practitioners.

In a letter to Vet Times and Vet Record, Mr Wray commented on papers from the RCVS Council meeting in May:

‘I note the papers are redacted in two respects, in relation to the costs of the activities discussed and in respect of regulatory matters where advice has been sought by third parties relating to RCVS activities.

‘Secondly, not one mention exists of the members of the RCVS who constitute the lion’s share of the profession and primary source of funding of RCVS - the general practitioners.’

The comments follow recent concerns from the profession about the ongoing debate surrounding telemedicine and remote prescribing. In June, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) wrote to the college raising concerns that the debate on the future of telemedicine was held ‘in committee’ rather than in an open forum.

In response, the RCVS clarified that the session had been held in private to examine confidential legal advice.

During the meeting the council voted unanimously to conduct a wide-ranging review of the supporting guidance on 24-hour emergency cover and the interpretation and application of ‘under veterinary care’. The review will explore what restrictions and safeguards to place on remote prescribing.

The proposed telemedicine trial was postponed for the foreseeable future and the college confirmed its review will be ‘open and inclusive’.

At the RCVS annual meeting on Royal College Day (12 July), the college answered questions submitted in advance by email, as well as taking questions from the floor. However, a group of vets are said to be considering the option of forcing an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the council.

MRCVSonline contacted the RCVS for comment. A spokesperson confirmed: ‘We have not yet received any formal request to hold an EGM’.

The college also confirmed: ‘Standards Committee is meeting in September to discuss the timeline for the [telemedicine] review and what it will look like’.

RCVS declined to comment specifically on Mr Wray’s letter in Vet Times and Vet Record.

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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.