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Veterinary Shortages Could Leave 75 Million Pets Without Care


New research from Mars Veterinary Health has found that worker shortages could leave millions of pets without care.

With the increased interest in animal ownership, researchers predict that spending on veterinary care will increase by 33% between 2019 and 2029. However, the number of vets entering the veterinary profession is currently only growing at around 2.7%, not nearly fast enough to outpace demand. 

‘Early in the pandemic, increases in pet adoptions — and the strengthened bond between people and their pets — was a bright spot in our newsfeeds, but it had the unintended effect of accelerating an already existing veterinary professional staffing shortfall,’ says Dr. Jennifer Welser, the Chief Medical Officer at Mars. 

‘While the shortage is a serious issue, it’s not insurmountable if we stay focused and work together as an industry to re-envision a more sustainable future. Veterinary professionals are among the most resilient people I know, and in partnership with pet owners, we will make a better world for pets.’

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The BVA Offers Free Membership to Ukrainian Vets

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has offered Ukrainian vets looking to settle in the UK free membership. 

The organization said it was a ‘gesture of support’ as the country is besieged by Russian forces. The BVA junior vice-president Malcolm Morely said: 

‘Like everyone, we are deeply concerned and saddened by the ongoing crisis unfolding in Ukraine.’

‘We will monitor the situation closely over the coming weeks, and would advise any members who wish to support the humanitarian response to make a donation to charity appeals such as the ones being run by British Red Cross, Save the Children, and UNICEF.’

‘As a gesture of support to the Ukrainian veterinary community, BVA will also offer free membership to any Ukrainian veterinary professionals looking to settle in the UK.’

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Urgent Climate Action Must be Taken to Protect Pets, Says Australian Group

Veterinarians for Climate Action are calling for greater action to be taken to address the climate crisis. Vets in Australia are concerned about the effects they are already seeing in the country. 

Dr. Helen McGregor is a veterinary consultant supporting farmers and vets across Australia, in a statement, she said: 

‘Veterinarians in rural and regional Australia are already experiencing the impacts of climate change on the farm businesses and communities they work with. Without urgent action for change, this will only increase.’

‘Heat stress can adversely affect livestock growth, reproductive success, and milk production. The impacts of climate change are already being felt across the agricultural industry. An increase in the number of hot days is also contributing to more severe droughts and changes in rainfall patterns are leading to both water shortages and impactful flooding.’

Without an effective response from governmental organizations, the IPCC has stressed that the situation will only get worse. 

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RCVS Report Offers Strategy to Help Get the Profession Out of the Workforce Crisis

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has published their 2021 Veterinary Workforce Summit Report, outlining some potential solutions to the workforce crisis.

The report was the product of the Veterinary Workforce Summit, which was held last year. The summit brought together 80 stakeholders from independent/corporate practices, schools, charities, and governmental bodies to address workforce challenges.

Some of the main solutions suggested include:

  • Rebranding the role of GPs.
  • Onboarding new efficient working models.
  • Introducing compulsory curriculums for developing interpersonal skills.

Kate Richards, the RCVS president, commented that ‘although the issues affecting the UK veterinary sector aren’t new, they have been exacerbated over the past few years by factors outside of the sector’s control.’

‘We know that putting in place solutions to address and solve the issues that the veterinary sector is facing will take time.’

‘We want to reiterate that the Summit was the first, albeit an incredibly important, first step in co-creating innovative solutions to workforce shortages.’

‘I look forward to working collaboratively with our veterinary colleagues from across the professions to bring the workforce action plan.’

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Dr. John de Jong Elected President of the World Veterinary Association

A past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Dr. John de Jong, has been elected as president of the World Veterinary Association. He will begin his term on March 30th at the end of the 2022 General Assembly. 

In a statement, he told the AVMA that he was ‘humbled and honored’ to be able to serve in this position. In his candidacy statement, Dr. de Jong emphasized how he wanted to bring the veterinary associations closer together:

‘Given the nature of our small but vital profession, I see the opportunity for organizations such as these two (WVA and WSAVA), and many others, to strengthen our bonds, develop working partnerships, and collaborate more to increase our visibility such that our expertise can provide a healthier and safer world for animals, human beings, and the environment.’

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How to Stay Productive at Work

Sometimes work can get so stressful that we can’t get anything done. Keeping productive during these intense periods can therefore be difficult, impeding your work schedule. 

Thankfully, there are some things you can do. Practicing mindfulness at work can be a great stress reliever. ‘The beauty of mindfulness is that it can be practiced anywhere, anytime,’ says Heidi Hauer, a life and health coach. 

‘Mindfulness in essence is about putting your attention and awareness on the present moment while acknowledging what is happening right now. You’re observing yourself and others rather than fixing it, planning ahead, or being too engaged.’

She recommends putting your focus into three areas, yourself, other people, and work itself.

‘Without analysing, look at what is showing up right now. What are your thoughts? Are you feeling heavy?’

‘What are the physical sensations you are feeling? How are your shoulders doing? What about your stomach, your legs, and your head? Identify physical sensations right now. It’s a good way to anchor yourself in the moment.’

‘Then ask yourself, what do I need right now, at a physical level, to feel good or better about myself? What do I need emotionally to feel confident or more safe?’

‘What do you need at a mental level? Do you need calm and quiet, or do you need mental stimulation? It’s about getting to know yourself really well. Not in terms of analysing yourself at a rational level, but by connecting deeply with yourself.’

‘Then ask yourself what does my body need right now? Sometimes it’s a glass of water or a cup of tea, sometimes it’s going outdoors and getting some fresh air. You might want to do some breathing techniques. 

‘These are neither rocket science nor take a long time and you can do them throughout the day.’

For more mindfulness tips, click here.

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