The end is nigh

Posted on August 09, 2014 by Robin Hargreaves

It's hard to credit that it has been a month since my last blog and I apologise for the hiatus. July was as busy a time as I have had in my period of office I think.

Suddenly I see the end of my term fast approaching, it has snuck up on me a bit as we have been so busy recently. It is always quite a bit more hectic in the lead up to a council meeting which we held on July 23rd. Prior to this we also had our second joint EWG/VPG meeting to consider DEFRA's response to the IEP report and to our own requests for clarification and specific undertakings that we had taken to officials and the secretary of state.

Council's decision on the the matter of pilot badger culls was that we could continue to support year two, and there was recognition that our discussions with DEFRA had led them to modify their approach considerably for the better. It was a real pleasure to attend RCVS day and see the inauguration of new RCVS president Prof Stuart Reid, and congratulate the outgoing president Col Neil Smith. The RCVS AGM held on RCVS day also saw the formal adoption of the new RCVS charter. This was a particularly historic event as it will create a new regulated profession of veterinary nursing; a move BVA strongly supports.

July also saw the annual BVA past presidents dinner.... what a privilege to spend the day in debate with so many  legendary veterinary personalities in a meeting that culminates with a dinner and further debate that helps give real depth of perspective to today's challenges.

The welfare of animals at slaughter has been high on our agenda and our E petition now has over 70,000 signatures; please sign if you have not done so and encourage friends an colleagues to do likewise... lets get to 100,000 asap, http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/64331. As we had promised during July we have had discussions with Shechita UK and the Halal food authority at Mansfield St and we will continue to try to influence all parties to focus on the animal welfare implications of non-stunned slaughter.

As August approaches the officer diary quietens down for the first time since Christmas but for all the other staff here things are ramping up considerably. We are fast approaching an August go live date for BVA's new web site and membership data base. This colossal IT project is in its final testing stage which is involving the whole staff from chief exec down.  The hectic and demanding final stages are being driven superbly by Tim Sainty, head of membership, but credit must also go to the whole staff who through a huge concerted effort over and above their normal work load look like bringing this project in on time and inside budget.

Robin Hargreaves

Written by Robin Hargreaves

BVA President from September 2013 to September 2014

Robin is a past president of BVA. He is a director and small animal practitioner at Stanley House Veterinary Surgery in Lancashire. He chaired the BVA vet-led team working group and was previously the BVA representative on the Mind Matters Initiative.