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Vet groups urge new minister to reform Veterinary Surgeons Act
Steve Barclay has taken over at Defra from Thérèse Coffey.

BVA and BVNA are looking forward to working with new Defra secretary on pressing issues.

Veterinary groups have called on the new environment minister to work with them to tackle the critical issues facing the sector, including reforming the Veterinary Surgeons Act.

Steve Barclay replaced Thérèse Coffey as secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle. The former health secretary will have a number of pressing matters to deal with in his new role, including the forthcoming ban on XL bully dogs.

Following the announcement of his appointment, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) highlighted the important role played by veterinary surgeons in dealing with problems such as dangerous dogs and imported diseases.

The association’s president urged the new minister to support the work of veterinary surgeons by reforming the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. The legislation, which regulates the profession in the UK, is widely considered to be outdated.

BVA president Anna Judson said: “The new environment secretary enters his job at a critical time with the ban on XL bully dogs rapidly approaching and new imported diseases emerging, all whilst long-standing issues like access to veterinary medicines in Northern Ireland post-Brexit still need to be fully resolved.

“Vets play a vital role in dealing with these issues, as well as supporting the UK economy and international trade, therefore BVA looks forward to working with Mr Barclay and the team at Defra to ensure vets have the tools they need, starting with an overhaul of the outdated Veterinary Surgeons Act, which is currently unfit for purpose.”

The British Veterinary Nursing Association has also said that it looks forward to working with Defra under the leadership of Mr Barclay and added its voice to the calls for reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act.

BVNA president Lyndsay Hughes said: “The appointment of the new Defra secretary is important to the veterinary nursing profession, as it has come at an already challenging time for the veterinary sector as a whole.

“The pressing animal welfare issues targeted by the dropped Kept Animals Bill remain unaddressed – which, among many others, include ear cropping and illegal puppy smuggling. There have been delays to implementing the previously announced legislation banning electric shock collars, while the ban on XL bully dogs is now imminent.

“Veterinary nurses play a pivotal role in upholding welfare standards for all animals, and we know the profession is frustrated and saddened by these issues.
“We’re also continuing to campaign for reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 – which we believe is no longer fit for purpose – to include the need for statutory protection of our title. We look forward to continuing to build upon our working relationship with Defra under Steve Barclay’s leadership, to ensure the veterinary nursing voice is heard in the calls for legislative change.”

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.