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Starting Salaries On The Rise, Student Debt On The Fall (USA)

According to the results of the 2022 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Senior Survey, the mean debt-to-income ratio for new veterinarians is down to 1.4:1, thanks to educational debt slowly decreasing and starting salaries increasing. This figure is not one we have seen since 2005, according to Bridgette Bain, PhD, senior economist and associate director in the AVMA Veterinary Economics Division. 

The survey found that the mean debt from earning a veterinary degree in the US was $147,258 for this year’s graduates, whereas the mean starting salary was $111,242 for those in full time employment. 

The survey also showed that of new veterinarians 38% had $200,000 or more debt from earning their veterinary degree, whilst 18% had no such debt, and 10% had a debt less than $100,000. 

In terms of wellness in the veterinary profession, the results also depicted good news, with only 0.2% of new graduates reporting high burnout, and 98% reporting high compassion satisfaction. 

Why Should You Care?

The findings of the 2022 AVMA Senior Survey, brings some much needed good news and progress in the work to make veterinary medicine more sustainable. Whilst burnout, student debt, and compassion fatigue statistics have been alarmingly high in the past within the profession, it’s good to see reports of them decreasing among new veterinary professionals. 

To read the full story, click here


Amazon and eBay Respond Supportively to Help Tackle Illegal Animal Mutilation 

The two retailers, Amazon and eBay have teamed up with the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to tackle the sale of products for illegal mutilation of animals, such as products advertised for puppy tail docking and kitten dew claw removal. 

Malcolm Morley, the BVA president, reported that:

“We took action after being made aware by members about the false advertising of legal products for the illegal purpose of puppy tail docking. Our research also found listings for cat dew claw removal kits being sold by retailers via eBay.

“We’re pleased to see swift and positive action by the two major retailers and will continue to work collaboratively with them to strengthen checks on products, or their marketing, that can harm animal welfare.

“I’d encourage vets and members of the public to raise concerns with retailers if they come across similar listings online in the future. Where such functionality exists, they may also use the websites’ online reporting mechanism to log a complaint.”

Whilst eBay’s UK general manager, Murray Lambell, said: 

“We are pleased that our proactive work is preventing the sale of these harmful items. We have put automatic block filters in place, which aim to prevent these products making it onto site in the first place, and our security teams perform regular checks to ensure nothing slips through the net. We will also continue to work closely with the BVA to make sure that we stop the sale of any product that may harm any animal.”

Why Should You Care?

A timely reminder that our voice as professionals matters and when we choose to use it, people do listen. The wider problem of their being a market for pets mutilated in this way still remains, but this is a win none-the-less. Perhaps the veterinary representative organisations can heap pressure on the government to ban outright the sale of mutilated animals, regardless of origin.

To find out more, click here.


Celebrating Neurodiversity in Veterinary Medicine

Erika Lin-Hendel, VMD, PhD, has recently spoken out on celebrating and empowering neurodiverse Teams in the veterinary profession. 

“[Neurodiversity is] a descriptor for the range of differences in brain function and behavioral traits…this is a normal variation of the human mind. They emphasized that being neurodiverse is still a normal variation of the brain, even if it functions differently from one person to the next. One piece of misinformation that surrounds neurodiversity is that these variations are “disorders” like autism or ADHD. Rather than thinking that there is something wrong or problematic when people don’t operate similarly to others, neurodiversity embraces all differences…So our brains and the way we operate, the way we take in information and process information, are going to be different.” said Lin-Hendel. 

In terms of neurodiversity within veterinary medicine, Lin-Hendel believes that often neurodiverse veterinary professionals are unsure whether to disclose their conditions due to stigmas and biases they may surround it. 

Erika, has instead encouraged veterinary professionals to shift their conversations around neurodiversity into ones that are uplifting, using celebratory and empowering language and highlighting the strengths of neurodiversity, instead of the negatives. For example, instead of focussing on how dyslexia can cause spelling mistakes, recognising that it also encourages creativity and a new way of thinking. 

Why Should You Care?

Diversity and inclusion, should be at the forefront of any profession, including veterinary medicine. Accepting each other for our differences can only strengthen us moving forward. 

To read the full story click here.


BVA Urges Government To Review Firework Laws (UK)

The British Veterinary Association, has teamed up with 11 organisations (including Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Blue Cross, Cats Protection, Children’s Burns Trust, Combat Stress, Dan’s Fund for Burns, Help for Heroes, The Kennel Club and PTSD UK), in order to ask the UK government to review the sale and use of fireworks. 

The letter reads:

“We are writing on behalf of a number of organisations that work to improve the welfare of both people and animals, to urge your department to undertake a review of fireworks legislation.

“Current easy access to fireworks is a serious concern for animals that suffer from noise fear, as well as vulnerable people such as those that suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, veterans, or children, young people and adults who are at high risk of being burned at private or public displays. In the lead-up to fireworks season and the heightened use of fireworks that occurs as part of this, we are increasingly concerned about the impact of fireworks on these groups.

“Although there have been several Government awareness campaigns around fireworks, there has been no legislative commitment to a review of fireworks and their impact on people and animal welfare.

“You will be aware that, in June of this year, the Scottish Parliament passed the Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Articles (Scotland) Bill. Once the relevant provisions come into force, the Bill will introduce fireworks licensing in Scotland and specifies that fireworks can only be supplied to, and used by, members of the public only on certain dates (around celebration periods). It also grants local authorities the powers to set-up ‘firework control zones’. The Welsh Government has also indicated it is supportive of UK-wide restrictions on fireworks to avoid border crossing purchasing to circumvent devolved legislation.

“We urge your department to follow suit and to look at reviewing where and when fireworks can be used elsewhere in the UK. Currently, too many animals and people are suffering the consequences of insufficient existing legislation. We strongly believe that this must change.

“We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you to discuss our concerns in more detail.”

Why Should You Care?

As firework season looms over us, we often find more and more clients worrying about the anxieties fireworks bring to their pets. Whilst we might be seen as party poopers by some, the fear induced by the extended fireworks season remains in need of further review. We’re all for a good bonfire and some fireworks, but let these things be scheduled licensed events so families with fearful animals can administer suitable support to the pets concerned.  

To read the full story click here.

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