President's Blog - July

There’s been no ‘summer holiday’ for AVS this year! Lots of talk about the future and lots of exciting prospects.

Thank you to the 832 of you who completed the vet futures survey. All of your responses have been analysed by the independent researchers and a report is due out very soon. The vet futures project will culminate in a much larger report to be launched at the London Vet Show in November, which will assimilate all of the survey findings and other forms of consultation from over the past year. Draft 'Ambitions for 2030' were considered at a vet futures meeting that myself and Alex McGhee attended at the RCVS headquarters earlier in July. A whole range of people from the profession were brought together to brainstorm clear actions to move each ambition into the future and decide who should be responsible for each. The whole process of the vet futures project has enabled some very interesting discussion and it is crucial that this is followed through with some action!

It was great to see so many students at this year's Animal Welfare Foundation discussion forum. The Animal Welfare Foundation is a small charity, closely associated with the BVA, which funds research, supports education and encourages debate of animal welfare issues. The most fervent of the discussions was surrounding the management of companion animal populations, including indiscriminate breeding of horses and cats and illegal importation of puppies. Thanks to an ex-AVS committee member wrenching my arm into the air during this session I was bewildered to discover the point I made was quoted in the Vet Record’s write up of the event this week!

Still, possibly the most bewildering moment of July can without doubt be awarded to the experience of filming the ‘Veterinary Vision’ video for the BVA at ITN productions studio. Being questioned on what the student body think about certain aspects of veterinary education in front of some large cameras was, unsurprisingly, pretty daunting. Imagine a viva exam where the results come in the form of an action replay a couple of months later…. But in all seriousness, it was an amazing opportunity. I hope the resulting video, released in September, will be well received and provide a good basis for further discussion on some very important issues.

And finally I attended my first BVA council meeting this month which, in comparison to the other activities of this July, featured astonishingly little debate (probably mainly due to Bovine TB not being on the agenda). The BVA council includes representatives from all of the BVA specialist divisions and UK regions and is a forum for the discussion of any matters arising. A portion of this meeting was spent discussing the (now very familiar) vet futures project and priority areas that BVA will focus on in the coming year. 

Handover of the executive roles in the AVS committee are pretty much complete and we are now setting up some new projects and opportunities in preparation for another busy year!