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Vet groups raise concerns of CMA mental health impact
A survey found that 22 per cent of vets saw an increase in abuse following the CMA's report.
Many practices have seen an increase in abusive behaviour.

Several veterinary organisations have publicly responded to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) four-week consultation, prior to its proposed formal market investigation.

The responses included a shared concern for the mental health of veterinary professionals during the review, with many practices reporting an increase in abusive behaviour from clients.

In its statement, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) expressed its gratitude to the CMA for raising awareness of mental health issues within the veterinary profession, including a high suicide rate.

However it also suggested that the process of the review itself had been damaging for mental health. It said that there had been an increase of abusive behaviour and harassment from animal owners towards veterinary professionals since it had been published.

RCVS said that, while there were thousands of veterinary professionals which may have welcomed the CMA’s intervention, they were still receiving negative reaction from their clients.

It used its statement to highlight the limited role that veterinary surgeons and nurses have in their practice’s business decisions. It has called for clients with concerns about the veterinary industry to direct them towards those making business decisions, or submitting them to the CMA’s upcoming investigation.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) also addressed mental health issues in its submission to the CMA.

The response was submitted with the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons, the British Veterinary Nursing Association and the Veterinary Management Group.

It stated that veterinary professionals were receiving increased abuse from clients in-person and online, which the BVA believes is due to ‘irresponsible’ media coverage of high veterinary fees. A BVA survey found that 22 per cent of respondents had had more negative interactions with clients since the CMA review.

The BVA’s response called for the CMA to continue being mindful in its language use when describing the motivations of individual veterinary professionals.

BVA president Anna Judson said: “Since the CMA launched its initial review, we know that vet teams in practice have faced an increase in abusive behaviour from clients.

“We encourage practices to use our #RespectYourVetTeam resources to help protect their teams from unacceptable client behaviour.”

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Reporting service for dead wild birds updated

News Story 1
 The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has updated its online reporting service for dead wild birds.

The new version allows those reporting a dead bird to drop a pin on a map when reporting the location. It also includes a wider range of wild bird species groups to select from when describing the bird.

The online service, which helps APHA to monitor the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
NI chief vet urges bluetongue vigilance

Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer (CVO) has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of bluetongue, after the Animal and Plant Health Agency warned there was a very high probability of further cases in Great Britain.

There have been 126 confirmed cases of bluetongue virus serotype 3 in England since November 2023, with no cases reported in Northern Ireland. The movement of live ruminants from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is currently suspended.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the virus is most likely to enter Northern Ireland through infected animals or germplasm (semen or ova) being imported.

Brian Dooher, Northern Ireland's CVO, said: "Surveillance for this disease within Northern Ireland has been increased to assist with detection at the earliest opportunity which will facilitate more effective control measures."

Farmers should report any suspicions of the disease to their private veterinary practitioner, the DAERA Helpline on 0300 200 7840 or their local DAERA Direct Veterinary Office.