Official Veterinarians voiced concerns about a range of issues at their first official conference in Swindon.

OV conference
Organisers were delighted at the support received by the inaugural OV conference.
Image © OV Conference.

The event took place at the Alexandra House Hotel and Conference Centre, with delegates discussing topics including the complexities of pet passports in the digital age, and the way information flows between the APHA, private vets and farmers on bTB testing.

Attended by 250 delegates the conference, themed “Reducing the impact of notifiable animal diseases in the UK”, featured lecture streams for large animal, small animal and equine vets.

Topics included:

  • new thinking on the eradication of bTB
  • the potential threat to UK pets from Echinococcus multilocularis
  • an update on avian flu

Round table debates gave delegates a chance to quiz speakers directly and an exhibition of the latest products and services for OVs ran alongside.

Desire for information

The conference was organised as a joint venture by Improve International, which handles OV registration and training in England, Scotland and Wales; and 5m Publishing – both part of the Benchmark Holdings Group. It was run in association with the APHA.

David Babington, managing director of Improve International, said: “Since working more closely with OVs we have become increasingly aware of their commitment to fulfilling their role effectively and of their desire to be better informed and more actively involved in discussions about the control of notifiable diseases.

“Staging this conference to bring them up to date with the latest thinking and to provide an environment in which they could network and share ideas was our response and we are delighted at the support it has received in its first year.”

He added: “The enthusiastic and stimulating discussions following many of the lectures confirmed the need for a forum such as this that brings OVs together with experts from private practice, other animal health-related organisations and the APHA. We are already planning the 2016 OV conference.”

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