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Survey sheds light on global veterinary wellbeing
Delegates at the WSAVA World Congress were encouraged to take control of their wellbeing by supporting their colleagues.
Younger professionals, females and veterinary nurses ‘most seriously affected’

The first global survey of veterinary wellness has revealed that thousands of veterinary professionals across the world are experiencing stress and reduced wellbeing.

Conducted by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), the survey suggests those ‘most seriously affected’ are younger professionals, females and veterinary nurses. It also highlights a reluctance among professionals in Asia and Africa to discuss mental health, an issue that described by the WSAVA as 'of significant concern’.

The results were presented by Dr Nienke Endenburg, co-chair of the WSAVA’s Professional Wellness Group (PWG), during the WSAVA World Congress in Toronto (17 July). During a subsequent panel discussion, delegates were encouraged to take control of their wellbeing by supporting their colleagues, making smart career choices and committing to ‘self-care’.

Dr Endenburg said: “Our research – the first global study of veterinary wellness – confirms a probable correlation between a career in veterinary medicine and an elevated risk of mental health issues. It’s likely that this is caused by a combination of factors including working environment, personal characteristics and client pressures.

“We are very concerned at the impact this is having on thousands of veterinary professionals worldwide and believe it must be addressed without delay.”

She continued: “The study has provided us with some very important data which we are now analyzing in more detail and preparing for scientific publication. We will then develop an urgent action plan.

“As part of the plan, we will share the helpful resources already created by some veterinary associations. We will also develop additional tools to ensure all veterinary healthcare team members can access help when they have – or ideally before they have – a mental health problem. 

“We hope our efforts will be another important step towards bringing about positive change and enhancing the well-being of all veterinarians globally.”

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."