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Veterinarians Press Lawmakers on Rural Veterinary Shortages, and Dog importation

Veterinary professionals have met with federal lawmakers to ask for their support in overcoming the current veterinarian shortage and dog importation to the US.

The virtual legislative fly-in, hosted by The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), bought together congressional offices and their veterinary constituents and discussed the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act and the Healthy Dog Importation Act to work on ways of helping to alleviate the acute shortage of staff working in rural areas and also to help protect against the importation of zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, to the US.

AVMA President José Arce said in a press release, “The veterinary community stands united in advocating for Congress to help alleviate veterinarian shortage situations in rural areas by assisting with the significant obstacle of student debt, and to ensure that dogs entering the country are healthy, thus reducing the potential for the spread of diseases that can endanger animal and public health.”

Read more here. 

Government Prioritizes Animal Welfare Legislation in Annual Plans

On the 10th of May, the UK government announced its intentions for the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill. The Bill aims to tackle puppy smuggling and bring in new welfare standards. 

Justine Shotton, BVA president, said: “We’re disappointed that animal welfare didn’t get a mention in the Queen’s Speech itself, but at least reassured that the carryover motion cements plans to finally get the Kept Animals Bill over the line and into law… 

The bill pledges to tackle issues our members have identified as some of [the] most pressing animal health and welfare issues of our times, and the impact of the pandemic on long-standing concerns such as puppy smuggling has only added to this urgency. BVA urges the Government to bring this vital bill into law as a top priority in the upcoming parliamentary session.”

To read the full story, click here

Alberta Government to Fund The University of Calgary 

The Alberta government has announced it will be providing an additional $8.4 million to support the funding of enrolling more veterinary students at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM). 

“This funding from the Government of Alberta will ensure that the University of Calgary can train enough new veterinarians to help address the shortage of animal health professionals in our province, while also supporting the growth of a major economic sector,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, UCalgary’s president, and vice-chancellor.

To read the full story, click the link.

Enhanced Pay For CVS Employees

CVS Group, a corporate group that has more than 500 practices across the UK, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Ireland, has announced its plans to pay a minimum of 3% more than the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage across its business.

Ben Jacklin, chief operating officer at CVS, said: “At CVS, over the past few years, we have been pursuing our clear vision to be the veterinary company people most want to work for, and we value every single one of our colleagues across the group – not least those colleagues on lower pay ranges across a range of support roles, who are critical to us providing the best possible care to animals.

“At a time when the cost of living is on the rise, we felt that to truly deliver on our vision we needed to act now and make a commitment to support colleagues with these cost pressures.”

To learn more, click here. 

21-year-old pooch crowned world’s oldest living dog

Though not strictly ‘veterinarian news’, we couldn’t resist sharing news of TobyKeith, a Chihuahua from Florida, USA, who has achieved the Guinness World Record for the oldest living dog.

Born Jan. 9, 2001, TobyKeith received his award on March 16 at the ripe age of 21 years and 66 days. TobyKeith was adopted by his owner, Gisela Shore, from an animal shelter when he was just a few months old.

Gisela credits TobyKeith’s longevity to his good diet, regular exercise, and healthy genetics.

Go TobyKeith!

To read more about TobyKeith’s story, click here. 

Resources To Aid Your Mental Health

Lastly, this week (May 9th-15th) marks Mental Health Awareness week across the UK. 

In support, all this week we have been sharing our favorite articles, and resources on tips to aid your mental health.

Here are some links to our favorites. 

For veterinarians:

  • Learn how rediscovering her inner artist has made Dr. Samyra a more resilient veterinarian here.
  • Get our self-care guide here. 
  • And find out how to deal with anxiety as a veterinarian here. 

For veterinary leaders and managers:

  • Learn how to instill wellbeing in veterinary medicine with Dr. Marie Holowaychuk here. 
  • Find out how to make mental health a priority in your practice here. 
  • And listen in as Dr. Sharon Grossman teaches us how to go from exhausted to extraordinary here. 

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