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RCVS and VN Council election candidates announced
"We look forward to launching both elections next month and hope to see record turnouts in both elections" - Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS registrar.

Elections commence Monday, 16 March 2020

The candidates for the 2020 RCVS and VN Council elections have been announced.

This year sees the first VN Council election since 2017 and a record number of candidates, with 13 veterinary nurses competing for the two available places.

The candidates for the VN Council election are:

 • Samantha Anderson RVN
 • Jessica Beckett RVN
 • Kirsten Cavill RVN
 • Rebecca Clark RVN
 • Dorothy Creighton RVN
 • Lindsey Anne Dodd RVN
 • Emma Foreman RVN
 • Racheal Marshall RVN (incumbent)
 • Megan Oakey RVN
 • Susannah Phillips RVN
 • Matthew Rendle RVN (incumbent)
 • Claire Roberts RVN
 • Cathy Woodlands RVN.

Eight veterinary surgeons have put themselves forward to compete for the three available places. They are:

 • John Davies MRCVS
 • Dr Melissa Donald MRCVS (incumbent)
 • Dr Tom Lonsdale MRCVS
 • Professor Stephen May FRCVS (incumbent)
 • Dr Kate Richards MRCVS
 • Peter Robinson MRCVS
 • Dr Richard Stephenson MRCVS
 • Dr Christopher (Kit) Sturgess FRCVS (incumbent).

RCVS registrar Eleanor Ferguson said: “After two years without an election for VN Council it is fantastic to see that a record number of veterinary nurses have put themselves forward as candidates. It demonstrates that there is a desire amongst the profession to engage with VN Council and the important issues it decides on around veterinary nursing education, continuing professional development and registration. It is also the first year that the number of veterinary nurse candidates has outnumbered the number of vets standing for RCVS Council.
“We look forward to launching both elections next month and hope to see record turnouts in both elections. In the meantime please make sure to engage with the process and scrutinise the candidates and their views by submitting a question about an issue of interest to you.”

Both elections will commence in the week beginning Monday, 16 March when candidates’ details, manifestos and ballot papers will be sent via post or email to members of both professions who are eligible to vote.

Biographies for each of the candidates, along with their election statements, can be found on the RCVS website. The statements for RCVS Council candidates can be found here and those for VN Council candidates here.

The elections close at 5 pm on Friday, 24 April 2020.

The RCVS is also inviting members of the profession to ‘quiz the candidates’ by submitting a question. The questions will be put directly to the candidates, who will then pick two to discuss from all those received.

Recordings of the candidates’ answers will be published on the RCVS website and YouTube channel. Vets should email their question (one per person) to or send it to the college via the College’s Twitter account @theRCVS using the hashtag #vetvote20 by midday on Friday 28 February 2020.

Veterinary nurses should email their question to or tweet to the College’s Twitter account using the hashtag #vnvote20.

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Zoo calls for volunteers in its hour of need

News Story 1
 As ZSL London Zoo begins to get back on its feet, the organisation is putting out a call for volunteers who have time to help out. It comes after three months of unprecedented closure, which has seen zoos across the UK come under enormous financial pressure.

Volunteers will be required to commit to a minimum of half a day each fortnight, helping to assist zoo visitors as they make their way around. Volunteer manager Rhiannon Green said: "We need cheery, flexible people who can help visitors enjoy their day while respecting the measures that keep everyone safe.

For more information, visit Posts are available at both London and Whipsnade Zoos. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BSAVA webinars to shine the spotlight on selected journal papers

A free series of webinars that take a closer look at selected papers published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice has been produced by the BSAVA.

In the new BSAVA Science webinar series, authors of the featured papers discuss their results with a panel and how they may impact clinical practice. The authors then answer questions submitted by audience members.

The webinars are available via the BSAVA Webinar Library, covering four different papers. JSAP editor Nicola Di Girolamo, said: "Discussing the research with the authors - experts in their field - really helps to bring the papers to life."