Brexit will “undoubtedly” be one of the biggest challenges facing the profession in 2017 and vets must expect the unexpected, BVA president Gudrun Ravetz has said.

Gudrun Ravetz
BVA president Gudrun Ravetz.

“We should not forget, however, it also has the potential to be an opportunity,” Mrs Ravetz said ahead of the new year.

“The veterinary family needs to come together, embrace its diversity and be a strong voice for all colleagues, whoever they are and wherever they come from in the world.”

Reflecting on and summing up 2016, Mrs Ravetz added: “As in the veterinary profession, as in politics: expect the unexpected.

“The result of the EU referendum was undoubtedly a challenge in 2016 and for none more so than our EU colleagues, but the veterinary family is pulling together hard and lobbying parliamentarians and policymakers to make sure the veterinary voice is heard.”

Unpredictable

BCVA president Andrew Cobner turned to the world of children’s fiction when asked for his thoughts on 2016 and the implications of Brexit.

Andrew Cobner
“Our non-UK colleagues are a vital part of the workforce,” said BCVA president Andrew Cobner.

He said: “2016 has been a little like one of Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected that used to grace our TV screens in the 1970s. Trying to predict the next twist in the tale proved too much for some – ask David Cameron or Hillary Clinton.

“By comparison, the veterinary world has been pretty stable, but the true impact of the vote to leave the EU is still in Roald Dahl’s realm.

“The veterinary labour market is a global one. It would be tragic if this exchange of veterinary skills and knowledge were to stop. Our non-UK colleagues are a vital part of the workforce and must be cherished and protected from any potential Brexit impacts.”

Support

Meanwhile, the BSAVA confirmed its ongoing support for the Mind Matters initiative and its commitment to supporting newly qualified vets through the coming year.

President Susan Dawson reflected on the fact BSAVA had been involved in many consultations, often in partnership with the BVA and specialist groups, and that collaborative conversations were set to continue and include topics such as telemedicine, tick treatments and Schedule 3.

  • Read the full story in the January 16 issue of Veterinary Times.
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