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BVA and RCVS issue joint statement on new national lockdowns
BVA and RCVS recognised that this is a difficult time for everyone in the profession and thanked them for continuing to work safely.

Organisations developing guidance to support veterinary professionals

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) have published a joint statement for the veterinary profession addressing the new national lockdowns in England and Scotland.

It was announced yesterday (4 January) that both Scotland and England will go into national lockdowns, with people ordered to stay at home except for essential reasons until at least the end of January in Scotland and mid-February in England.

In the statement, the BVA and RCVS confirmed that they will issue updated guidance in the coming days, but will not be reverting to emergency-only work. The organisations will work to develop guidance which supports veterinary professionals in safely carrying out essential work for animal health and welfare.

As schools are now closed across the UK, the BVA and RCVS are communicating with each national government to confirm the definition of key worker status for childcare purposes and will provide updates as soon as possible.

In the meantime the organisations have directed veterinary staff to the definition of key worker (for the purposes of accessing childcare) that was previously agreed in March 2020.

The full statement from BVA and RCVS reads: “We are urgently looking at what these new national lockdowns will mean for veterinary professionals and services, and we are liaising with the Chief Veterinary Officers.

“We aim to issue updated guidance in the coming days but can confirm that we will not be reverting to emergency-only work, as we saw at the start of the first UK-wide lockdown last March.

“Instead, we are developing guidance to support veterinary professionals to carry out work that is essential for public health and animal health and welfare, in the context of the very strong ‘stay at home’ messages from both governments.

“We recognise that this continues to be a very challenging and difficult time for our colleagues, and we want to thank veterinary teams across the UK for continuing to work safely so that we can all play our part in stopping the spread of Covid.

“Once again we thank animal owners for their understanding and ask them to continue to respect their vets’ decisions at this time. The range of services available will vary between practices so that vets can work in Covid-safe ways to keep their colleagues and clients safe.”

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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.