The British Veterinary Union (BVU) has urged vets not to play down intense stress or accept it as a normal aspect of the profession.

old vet
“There is a need to lay to rest the outdated view of seeing veterinary work as a vocation and recognise it as a modern 21st century profession,” says BVU chairman Shams Mir. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2005-0624-517 / CC-BY-SA 3.0.

The union’s inaugural conference highlighted the significance of stress in the profession, with chairman Shams Mir resolving to keep the issue in the limelight while identifying and addressing its causes.

“The recent RCVS survey of the profession reported stress as the most commonly cited reason by young vets planning to leave the profession,” Dr Mir said. “Unfortunately, the profession appears to be downplaying stress among vets by trying to normalise it.

“There is a need to lay to rest the outdated view of seeing veterinary work as a vocation and recognise it as a modern 21st century profession, where vets are seen as the most important asset and their professional output valued high.

“We need to be honest with ourselves in the profession and recognise today’s vets work under enormous pressures.”

Pressure awareness

It was also vital, he said, the profession portrayed a true image of the vet to the public.

“Many out there still think their animal’s welfare is their vet’s responsibility and we should be at their disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and that vets make great fortunes.

“We need to create awareness about the pressures vets work under, the exceptional value for the money our services offer and that most vets may just manage to have their mortgages paid by the time they retire.”

  • A full report from the BVU conference is included in the 18 July issue of Veterinary Times.


View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of


related content

To mark the launch of the 2017 BVA In Practice CPD programme, the association has teamed up with programme sponsor Subaru to find a vet to give one of its Outback models the most intense test drive possible.

3 mins

The college celebrated its latest milestone with a weekend of events including an ethical debate, talks, a film screening and a glamorous gala dinner.

4 mins

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is accepting nominations from vets and VNs who wish to stand as candidates in next year’s council elections.

5 mins

While on the farm rotation at university, Jordan's inexperience lead her to discuss when things go wrong and examine the "safety net" provided by the Veterinary Defence Society.

10 mins

A joint letter has been sent to the Prime Minister by the RCVS and the BVA highlighting concerns about how Brexit is impacting the veterinary profession.

3 mins

Digital media has revolutionised the way many vets and VNs fulfil their CPD obligations. Accessing learning online is often cheaper, faster and more convenient than traditional modalities. So, is there still a case to be made for event-based learning? James Westgate reports.

16 mins