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Catch up on this week’s top headlines with the weekly veterinary news roundup, presented by VetX International.

Investors Scramble to Benefit From Veterinary Business Boom

The growing demand for veterinary services has driven a boom in veterinary business investment across the USA. 

Landlords who previously may have been reluctant to take on veterinary tenets are welcoming practice owners with open arms, and spin-off businesses are springing up all across the country. 

‘I don’t think as a landlord I would have been encouraged to have a vet clinic 15 years ago, but today I would’ said Mr. Danialifar of GD Realty, Modern Animal’s West Hollywood landlord. 

The growth in the veterinary sphere has also driven ‘veterinary real estate’ companies that specialize in finding spaces for vet clinics. Several companies dedicated to this niche have emerged, including Terravet Real Estate Solutions and Hound Properties. 

Market success in the veterinary sphere has further increased the number of start-ups popping up in the vet-care space, including companies such as VetBond and Small Door Veterinary. 

Money in the pet care business is looking to increase to $275 billion by 2030, up from $100 billion in 2019. It will be interesting to see what innovations come as a consequence of this. 

To read more about the emerging business opportunities in vet med, click here.

Vets Fight Against Covid Misinformation 

Veterinarians across the United States are utilizing their specialized skills to help vaccinate/inform members of the public amidst the covid-vaccination push. 

Dr. Teri Ann, a veterinarian from Nevada, spoke of her experiences as a covid-vaccinator to Vin News, shedding light on misinformation being spread. 

‘At First, I was the only veterinarian at the drive-up location in Reno giving shots to the only species my profession does not treat. Eventually, more veterinarians appeared.’

‘At the outset, folks were excited to get vaccinated. One evening in early February, we inoculated 1,400 educators. They were so grateful. One woman told the traffic controller that she loved me, as I made getting the vaccine fun. That made me smile.’

‘As we worked through the tiers of eligible people, following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, our clientele shifted from the over-75 crowd to 12-year-olds. As the shift occurred, in general, the people coming in went from being eager to be scared.’

Dr. Terri Ann has found that more and more of her patients have expressed fears about the vaccine, or outright refused to have it due to covid-misinformation. 

‘I remain astounded at how truth can be twisted by fear. I am even more astounded by all the good people in this world. So many stepped up to help with the massive vaccination effort [including vets and veterinary technicians]’.

She encourages vets to use their unique skills to help vaccinate and inform members of the public of the benefits of vaccination. 

To read more, click here.

Vets Implore Politicians To Prioritise Animal Welfare In Australia/New Zealand Trade Deal Talks 

Fears surrounding animal welfare have prompted the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to make a statement on the current free trade talks going on between the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. 

The Association has called for an ambitious animal welfare chapter, which would build on existing animal protections. 

Currently, the British government is pushing for a deal with Australia that would bring in cheaper imports, potentially undermining current animal welfare standards. 

James Russell, BVA president said:

‘We recognize the importance of securing a firm footing for the UK on the global trading stage now that we have left the EU, but removing barriers needs to go hand in hand with protecting the UK’s hard-won reputation for high welfare standards and preserving the livelihoods of our farming communities.’

‘Opening the floodgates to cheaper imports in the interests of sealing a deal would spell bad news for animal welfare and undercut our producers, who pride themselves on high standards and offering UK customers the quality that they both deserve and expect.’

‘There are definite opportunities ahead in terms of this and future trade agreements, and we have recognized that a Free Trade Agreement that reduces Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) barriers over time would be a positive step.  However, to fully realize these opportunities, the Government needs to give assurances that animal welfare will remain firmly on the table in discussions, and not give concessions that may hamper progress in this critical area.  Vets play an integral role in ensuring high standards in welfare and food safety from farm to fork, so the profession must be central to discussions as SPS agreements take shape.’

To read more, click here.

Relief Rover Hosts First Virtual Run To Raise Money For ‘Not One More Vet’ 

The company Relief Rover is hosting a virtual run (from July 24th-31st) in the hopes to raise money for Not One More Vet (NOMV). 

NOMV is a non-profit organization that supports veterinary professionals and students in crisis. They have several resources on their platform for professionals and have an emergency mental health hotline. 

The event (dubbed Clinic to 5K) encourages runners and walkers to participate in a 5K run/walk at their own pace. $10 from every runner will be nominated to NOMV, however, applicants will be able to make additional donations to charities such as PrideVMC and/or Stryder Cancer Foundation. 

‘Our mental health and wellbeing require a sustainable effort. Our profession has responded to the crisis of the last year and now it’s time to have some healthy and relaxing fun’ said Relief Rover Founder and CEO, Dr. Cindy Trice. 

Participants will be given a series logo medal, a series logo race bib, and a series logo running cap. 

Registration costs $25 throughout May and $35 from June 1st. Surprise giveaways will also be held during this period. 

Applicants should sign up by July 15th to partake in the event.

To learn more about the event, click here.

Vet Council Signs International Deal To Help Boost Vets’ Wellbeing

The Veterinary Council of New Zealand has agreed to a deal to improve veterinary wellbeing worldwide. 

The deal was part of the Every Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) which is designed to improve and maintain the wellbeing of professionals across the globe. When signing the initiative, organizations commit to protecting and supporting vets throughout their careers, preventing poor mental health outcomes through research, and instituting policies to remedy the problem. 

When asked about the initiative, VCNZ CEO and Registrar Iain McLachlan said that signing the statement was one of a few ways the association was working towards improving the profession.

‘There are many people around the world who are doing great things to improve mental health and wellbeing, and VCNZ wants to work with them. This will give us a platform to share what we are doing in the wellbeing space, collaborate with global experts, and access international research, which will enhance our strategy for veterinarians in New Zealand’.

‘It’s important that regulators and associations around the world commit to working together to support our veterinary communities by sharing best practices and resources and being a strong and united voice on the importance of a safe and supportive culture. We look forward to working with VCNZ on this important agenda.’

To read more on this story, click here.

How Improving Wellbeing Can Increase Motivation

Worker wellbeing (both physically and mentally) can influence a lot of outcomes in the workplace- including motivation. 

Whilst improving wellbeing may counterintuitively influence workplace productivity (a huge issue in vet med), happier employees take fewer sick days off, are more engaged at work and produce better work. 

So what can vet practice managers and owners do to increase wellbeing- and therefore motivation, in practice?

Institute A Mental Health Policy

Planning and putting in a company-wide mental health plan can do wonders for motivation. Encouraging open and positive communication between managers and staff can destigmatize and de-escalate issues that may cause problems in the future.

As part of this policy, managers should be trained to spot the first signs of certain mental health conditions (such as anxiety and depression), so support can be offered in a quick and timely manner.

Establish More Avenues For Communication 

Although it can be difficult to make time for employees during a busy day, checking in on staff is quintessential to increase overall wellbeing and motivation. 

Regular check-ins can help employers catch problems early and foster close relationships with colleagues. Answering queries and reminding the team of their overall purpose in the clinic can further boost morale. 

Integrate Fitness Into The Work Day

Whilst veterinary workers tend to be on their feet most of the day, encouraging movement throughout the day can help release stress and increase workplace motivation. 

Whether that involves walking meetings, pushing for employees to walk to work, take the stairs or even cycle in-the more movement the better. 

These bursts of movement can increase feelings of happiness and therefore motivation, driving momentum in practice. 

For more on how to increase worker motivation, click here.

If you missed last week’s weekly veterinary news, click here.

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