Skip to main content

In this week’s VetCrunch news roundup, we share how you can win up to $150,000 in funding, celebrate the first European vet practice to be B-Corp accredited, and discuss the increased regulation of Australian paraprofessionals.

$150,000 In Funding Opportunities Up For Grabs From The AAVMC/ Zoetis (USA), & The Kennel Club (UK)

In this week’s top story, we have compiled two funding resources that could greatly benefit the careers and livelihoods of those in the veterinary profession. Depending on the award/scholarship, individuals can nominate themselves or their colleagues. See below for more details…

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) and Zoetis’ $50,000 Research Scholarship:

From December 1st and onwards, veterinary students who are interested in attaining a degree in basic or clinical research can apply for the AAVMC Dr Catherine A. Knupp $50,000 scholarship from the Zoetis Foundation and AAVMC. This scholarship is named after the former president of Zoetis, who led a 35-year-long career in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Commenting on the opportunity, Zoetis Foundation president, Jeannette Ferran Astorga said “Through the Zoetis Foundation, we are committed to helping expand access to veterinary training, as well as advance a more inclusive veterinary community … We’re proud to honor the legacy of Dr. Knupp’s leadership in animal health research and development through our support of the veterinary profession as it continues to grow in order to meet the need for increased animal care and wellness.”

Andrew T. Maccabe, DVM, MPH, JD, CEO of AAVMC had this to say: “As a champion for diversity and inclusion focused on advancing the veterinary medical profession, this funding from the foundation will be instrumental in helping us further education and research.

Click here to read more about the Zoetis/AAVMC scholarship. 

Prizes up to £84,000 as part of The Kennel Club Charitable Trust The International Canine Health Awards:

Veterinary students, veterinarians, and scientists can nominate themselves or colleagues for an award as part of The International Canine Health Awards 2023, organized by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust. The prizes are worth up to £84,000 ($100,000 USD).

There are five awards available, including the International Award in Canine Health, two Student Inspiration Awards, a UK Breed Health Coordinator Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has said that these awards “have been fostering and supporting development in the canine research and veterinary field for more than 10 years now, and offer some of the largest veterinary prizes in the world.

To find out more about the Kennel Club Charitable Trust awards, click here. Further information and nomination forms for these awards are found here.

Why Should You Care?

Veterinary Training costs a heck of a lot. Students can expect to be saddled with a minimum of $150,000 worth of debt. So the thought of taking on more debt to explore new fields or encourage the pursuit of excellence has the potential to put many off. Awareness of the opportunity to receive support might just be the starting point to taking your career in a new direction or spotlighting some important contribution. As always, you’ve got to be in it to win it! So if you think either of these funds might be something you or a colleague can benefit from… we encourage you to apply for, or share the love!

Pennard Vets Becomes First European Veterinary Practice to Achieve B Corp Accreditation (UK)

Pennard Vets, a veterinary practice in Kent, England has become the first European vet practice to achieve B Corp accreditation. Brands outside of the veterinary world with this accreditation include The Body Shop, Ben and Jerry’s, and Innocent Drinks.

The practice achieved this due to its social and environmental performance standard, transparency, and accountability.

Commenting on the achievement, veterinary surgeon Caroline Collins said “Ultimately, we exist to benefit our people, the communities we work in and the environment, rather than solely focusing on profit, and becoming a B Corp is the highest level of external recognition of this … Pennard Vets has been around for more than 125 years, and we want the business to be here in another 125 years or more.”

Adding to this, she said that “Being employee-owned and socially minded is a huge draw for vets and nurses seeking a change in their career, who want to be part of an organization where they can have a real say in the running of the practice and make a tangible difference to the environment.

“It also means that we can now make very long-term decisions that could even take several decades to pay off, which would be very difficult to do in a traditional shareholder business, and that gives our team the authority to always do the right thing.”

Why Should You Care?

At a time when the only model anyone is speaking about is the corporate roll-up model, it is awesome to see others take leadership over different pathways to change the course of veterinary medicine. Pennard Vets in the UK have been doing this consistently for several years. They were one of the first to move ownership to the team and now they’ve made their commitment to sustainability clear with the work involved to become a B corp. Well done to the team. We watch with interest!

Click here to read the full article.

AVBC Moving Towards Strengthened Regulation of Veterinary Paraprofessionals (Aus)

A recent survey spearheaded by The Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC)’s Sustainable Practice Committee (SPC) has shown that, of 2,300 respondents, a large portion supported the following proposals:

  • A national, independent body representing veterinarians, veterinary nurses, and technicians.
  • A certificate IV as the minimum level of qualification.
  • An option for registration of persons currently employed as veterinary nurses who had appropriate skills and experience but no formal qualifications in veterinary nursing for an initial, limited period.
  • Differentiation based on qualification, particularly expressed by veterinary technicians.

One major point that 88% of respondents supported was the official recognition of veterinary nurses and technicians via registration. It is argued that this registration proposal will add extra safeguards to the veterinary profession, maintaining high work standards of veterinary care in Australia.

Why Should You Care?

The work veterinary nurses do is utterly indispensable. Appropriate recognition of this through the protection of the term veterinary nurse makes total sense. Such a register also means that it is not only veterinarians who carry the burden of responsibility for their actions. In theory, this would improve the level of care animals receive.

But beyond recognition and animal health benefits, perhaps this will also pave the way for much-needed improvement to the salary of nurses, something that is needed to improve retention in this sector. Without retention, there is little chance of sustainability ever improving. 

Click here to read the full article.

Guidelines Released on Improving Feline Interactions (USA)

The International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has published guidelines on how vets can improve their interactions with feline patients.

The guide includes some practical tips that will help minimize stress in cats and result in more feline visits, including:

  • Educating cat caregivers about how to reduce distress when traveling to veterinary practices (including carrier training).
  • Creating an experience that considers the animal’s natural behaviors and altering an approach to each cat.
  • Creating an environment that considers and implements ways to reduce fear/anxiety and promotes emotions and behaviors cats find comforting.

The head of the ISFM, Nathalie Dowgray (BVSc, MRCVS, MANZCVS (feline), PG Dip IAWEL) said “We are extremely proud of our new guidelines … They have been a lot of hard work, with large amounts of literature to review and multiple time zones to work across, but the effort has been worth it. We hope all veterinarians working with cats will take the time to read them and apply the concepts and ideas to their clinics and to how they personally interact with their feline patients.”

Adding to this, AAFP CEO, Heather O’Steen (CAE) said “We’re excited to launch these guidelines to the veterinary community … They will enhance feline welfare, caregiver loyalty, and human safety, as well as create more positive veterinary visits for all! They will become the foundation for feline care and the veterinary experience.”

These guidelines have been published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (JFMS).

Why Should You Care?

Visits to the vet by cat owners have long lagged behind those by dog owners. The reasons are multiple but reasonably easy to discern. For example, cats are harder to get in a box and get to the vet without risking a visit to the ER.

But cats are also more challenging for vet professionals to work with and represent both an injury risk and an economic opportunity. 

Low-stress animal handling is an excellent way of tackling both issues, so these guidelines are welcome and further strengthen the case for changing the way we think about the pet experience in practice.

Click here to read the full article.

Latest posts

Leave a Reply