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Vet group to run teen vet nurse course
Teenagers will have the opportunity to try various nursing tasks, including suturing, bandaging and clinical examinations.
The two-day course will give teenagers an insight into the vet nurse career.

An independent veterinary group in Scotland is to run a veterinary nursing course for 15- 17 year olds.

Thrums Vets will run the two-day course at various points throughout the year, to inspire more young people to join the veterinary nursing profession.

During the course, participants will be able to shadow nurses at the group’s Kirriemuir practice as they complete their rounds. They will then have the opportunity to perform various nursing tasks including suturing, bandaging and clinical examinations.

Students will also carry out fluid therapy, radiography positioning, patient care and laboratory work.

As well as practical experience with veterinary nursing, students will learn about the studying and qualifications needed to become a veterinary nurse. Thrums Vets’ team will present talks on their own experiences, and their paths into the profession.

Following the course, those interested in pursuing a career in the industry will be assigned a mentor to support their progression.

The first course will be launched in May, to coincide with Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month 2024. It is already fully booked, and the team are planning another course for June or July.

The idea to run a course for teenagers follows the success of The Thrums Vet School Preparation Programme, a three-day course for 16 and 17 year olds interested in becoming veterinary surgeons.

The veterinary group believes that running these courses for young people will help to ease the recruitment crisis within the veterinary industry.

Ashley Wilkie, associate managing director at Thrums Vets and a registered veterinary nurse, said: “Both these courses are amongst the first of their kind in the UK and we’re hoping that they can help ease the veterinary industry’s recruitment crisis over the long-term. At the end of the course, attendees will have a mentor to support them if they choose to pursue a career in the industry.

“The mentorship is part of our ambition to help produce a cohort of skilled, engaged and talented individuals that will benefit both Thrums and the veterinary industry as a whole in the future.”

Image © Thrums Vets

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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

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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.