Vet Futures Initiative:

who represents the grassroots veterinary professionals?

Vet Futures, a major new initiative that aims to “help the profession prepare for and shape its own future”, was launched at the British Veterinary Association (BVA) Congress at the London Vet Show on 20 November. The project is jointly funded and led by the RCVS and the BVA, The BVU fully endorsed the spirit of the RCVS initiative to help the profession to prepare for the future. However, after all the RCVS is the regulator of the profession and is there to protect the interests of the public using the veterinary services. The question is who is really going to represent the interests of the veterinary professionals working at the grassroots level?

There should be no confusion that the RCVS with its statutory authority will be in a better position to call the shots and the BVA may have to compromise or stay quiet where it might want to differ with the RCVS. Is this a good deal for the members of the BVA? This is a question the members of the BVA will have to ask themselves.

By getting into bed with the regulator of the profession (RCVS), the BVA has once again confirmed that it is more interested in its status in relation to the RCVS rather than its independence to represent its members. Under the watch of the long-standing organisations who claim to represent the profession, we have seen the extinction of the State Veterinary Services and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, which have now been relegated into the “Animal and Plant Health Agency”. Nobody knows where this downward spiral is going to end. The existing private veterinary practices are fast becoming extinct with the big corporate groups expanding and vets will find it evermore hard to set up independent practices.

In the corporate environment where profit-making will always remain the overriding objective, working life will be difficult, as at the heart of the agenda will always be the interests of shareholders rather than that of the veterinary professionals or the public they serve. With the existing veterinary schools almost doubling up their student intake, more veterinary schools opening and the influx of veterinarians form abroad, the veterinary job market is likely to be strained.

In the challenging times ahead it will be evermore important that the UK veterinary professionals have an organisation with independence and determination to fight their corner in the shaping up of the future of the profession. The BVU is committed to doing exactly that.

© BVU | 2020