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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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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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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.