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College appoints new chairs
Dr Bradley Viner (left) and Ian Arundale

RCVS statutory committees have fresh leadership

The RCVS Disciplinary Committee (DC) has appointed Ian Arundale as its new Chair, with Dr Martin Whiting as the new Vice-Chair. The second, the RCVS Preliminary Investigation Committee (PIC), has appointed Dr Bradley Viner.
 
The Disciplinary Committee conducts the RCVS disciplinary hearings, tribunals where charges are heard against a veterinary surgeon alleging that he or she is guilty of serious professional misconduct – the wording of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 is ‘disgraceful conduct in a professional respect’ – or that he or she is unfit to practise because of a criminal conviction.
 
Ian Arundale has now been appointed its new Chair following an application process from within existing DC members, with the final interview panel consisting of Amanda Boag (president at the time), Ian Green (current DC Chair) and Miran Uddin (an independent barrister who works in regulatory law). He begins his role in late October.
 
Ian is deputy chief constable of Cleveland Police and was a police officer for 32 years serving in South Wales, West Mercia and Dyfed-Powys police forces. He currently provides expert witness services to inquests, courts and public inquiries. He has worked internationally and has assisted police forces and organisations in the USA, India, the Far East and New Zealand. In addition to his work with the RCVS, Ian is also the chairperson of the Audit Committee for the City of Cardiff Council and is a board member of the International Law Enforcement Forum.
 
The PIC is a statutory committee tasked with investigating concerns made to the RCVS in which there is an arguable case for serious professional misconduct.

The Committee meets every fortnight to decide if there is a realistic prospect that the conduct of the veterinary surgeon in cases before them will be found to have fallen far below the standard expected and should be referred to the Disciplinary Committee, or whether they should be handled in an alternative way.
 
Dr Bradley Viner has been appointed as the new Chair of the RCVS PIC and began his role on 1 July 2019. He was appointed through an independent selection process led by an external HR consultancy, with RCVS Council ratifying the final appointments. He replaces Andrew Ash, who chaired the PIC from July 2015 up until Bradley’s appointment.
 
Bradley established his own small animal practice in Pinner, Middlesex, which then grew to a group of five practices in north-west London. In 2017 he sold his practices to the Linnaeus Group and now works for them as Group Clinical Quality Lead across all their sites.

He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2017 for Meritorious Contributions to Clinical Practice. Bradley was an elected member of RCVS Council between 2005 and 2017, including four years as RCVS treasurer and one year as RCVS president in 2015-16.

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Born Free video highlights how humans are to blame for COVID-19

News Story 1
 Wildlife charity Born Free has released a video emphasising the importance of changing the ways in which humans treat wildlife in order to prevent pandemics from occurring in the future.

The video, narrated by founder patron Joanna Lumley OBE, says: "To deal with the very immediate threat of another global catastrophe, we have to focus on ending the destruction and conversion of natural habitats and the devastating impact of the wildlife trade.

"The vast majority of these viruses originated in wild animals before infecting us. Destroying and exploiting nature puts us in closer contact with wildlife than ever before."

Born Free has compiled an online resource with information on how to take action and improve protections for wildlife here.

To view the video, please click here.

Images (c) Jan Schmidt-Burbach. 

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RVC opens 2021 Summer Schools applications

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has opened applications for its 2021 Summer Schools, with students in Years 10, 11 and 12 invited to apply.

Taking place between July and August 2021, the event gives budding vets from all backgrounds first-hand insight into what it's like to study at the Campus.

Much of this year's content is likely to be delivered virtually, including online lectures and practical demonstrations, but the RVC hopes to welcome each of the participants to campus for at least one day to gain some hands-on experience.

For more information about the Schools and to apply, visit: rvc.uk.com/SummerSchools Applications close on the 2 March 2021.