Following a meeting with the governing body for polo in the UK, theHurlingham Polo Association (HPA), the RCVS has reiterated its advice to all veterinary surgeons involvedwith polo.
Often, overseas vets come to the UK with a polo team. Under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, such veterinary surgeons must be registered with the RCVS if they are to practise in the UK, even if such practice is restricted to working with an overseas polo team. In addition, it is illegal for certain categories of veterinary medicines to be prescribed in the UK, or medicines imported into the UK, by anyone other than a registered veterinary surgeon. A licence is required for the importation of medicines.
There are various types of registration possible for these purposes which, in the main, depend on where the vet qualified and is practising currently. For some, this would have to be full home-practising registration, for others, perhaps temporary registration for a restricted period and subject to conditions.
RCVS Council Member and equine veterinary surgeon, Richard Stephenson, said: “UK equine veterinary surgeons involved with polo are advised to ensure any visiting veterinary surgeons they may work with in terms of collaboration or referral are properly registered.”
Although the RCVS has no jurisdiction over non-registered veterinary surgeons, it works with the relevant enforcement body – usually the police or Trading Standards – to assist where veterinary surgery has been carried out illegally.
An RCVS Advice Note will be discussed at the forthcoming 4 June Council Meeting and subsequently made available on RCVSonline .