BVNA saddened with Government response to the protect the VN title petition

BVNA were very disappointed to read the Governments response to protect the VN title petition released in the early hours of 9th January 2016.

BVNA still stand fully behind the need to protect the title ‘veterinary nurse’ on the basis of animal welfare and protection of the public from rogue veterinary practices that choose to call unqualified and untrained staff members veterinary nurses.

BVNA feels that the government have overlooked the emotions of the British public towards animal welfare and maintenance of trust within the veterinary profession. It is wrong to expect pet owners to physically check themselves that the person in the practice caring for their beloved pet is a Registered Veterinary Nurse who is trained in animal care and will abide by a Professional Code of Conduct. On entering a hospital an individual would assume that the Nurse caring for them or a loved one is a registered professional that has completed a recognised course of training in order to provide the best care and we are confident that they would want the same for their family pet. BVNA believes it is the responsibility of the government to help our profession to protect the public and their animals.

Registered Veterinary Nurses do have the protection of a Royal Charter that entrenches the standards of our nursing profession. We are subject to continuing education requirements, protection of public health and follow a Code of Professional Conduct in the same way as Registered Nurses in human medicine. Lay staff however have no such guidance or restrictions, and currently, they can call themselves a veterinary nurse and as such provide nursing care animals without the necessary training. This is confusing for the general public and for the veterinary profession.

BVNA feels this is not the end of the campaign to protect the veterinary nurse title and the response from the government will only serve to now increase awareness of the issues faced. This should serve to increase public awareness of the potential issue their pet could face next time they go for treatment in a veterinary practice.

As the representative body for veterinary nurses, BVNA will continue to work alongside the RCVS and with BVA to raise awareness of this campaign and will encourage anyone who is interested to sign the petition which remains open until 14th February 2016. If you are an RVN or SVN who is not already a BVNA member and you would like to join with us to have your voice heard, then please contact the BVNA office or visit the website.

Link to the petition; https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106153

Samantha Morgan | BVNA President

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