Complaints Procedure

Veterinary Business Development (VBD) believes in, and strives for, the highest standards of journalism, and is committed to accuracy and fairness in its journals and digital content. However, despite our best intentions, mistakes can sometimes happen, and where we have got something wrong we will endeavour to rectify it as soon as we can.

We take all complaints about editorial content seriously, and, as members of the new Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), VBD is committed to abiding by the rules, regulations and Editors’ Code of Practice IPSO enforces.

About this procedure

VBD’s Editorial Complaints Procedure applies to printed editorial content in publications and digital content it controls in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

The procedure does not cover complaints regarding:

  • taste/decency, or due impartiality;
  • advertising (this is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority);
  • complaints about “user-generated content” (ie material on digital services, including websites or apps, that was not posted by us or on our behalf) that we have not reviewed or moderated; or
  • complaints about books.

How to complain

You must clearly state if you are making a formal complaint under our Editorial Complaints Procedure.

Complaints should be made no later than four months after publication. If an article remains accessible on any digital platform, complaints will be accepted up to 12 months from its first posting. VBD will consider formal complaints under this policy from:

  1. any person directly affected by the matter complained of; or
  2. from a representative group affected by an alleged breach of the Editors’ Code that is significant and of substantial interest; or
  3. from a third party seeking to correct a significant inaccuracy of published information.

Complaints should preferably be put in writing, either in an email to the relevant editor of the journal/website (contact details are below) or by writing to him/her at VBD, Olympus House, Werrington Centre, Peterborough PE4 6NA.

You can also telephone 01733 325522 and ask to speak to the editor of the publication. If you are making a formal complaint under this procedure, you will be asked to document it in writing as below.

Complaints to us must:

  • clearly state you are making a formal complaint under our Editorial Complaints Procedure.
  • fully reference (publication, volume, issue number, page number and article title, or link to a webpage or web address) the article you are complaining about.
  • outline the nature of your complaint, with specific reference to the IPSO Editors’ Code of Practice.
  • provide any documents that will help us assess your complaint.

Note: we reserve the right to to reject, without further investigation, complaints that show no breach of the Editors’ Code; that are trivial, hypothetical, abusive, offensive, or otherwise insignificant. If you are taking legal action, we may be unable to consider your complaint.

What will happen next

The relevant editor, on his own or in conjunction with other members of our editorial team, will investigate your complaint. If we find an error has been made, we will aim to rectify it as quickly as possible. We aim to acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days of receipt. Complainers should agree to respond promptly to any request for additional information. If we receive multiple complaints about the same issue, we may make one response to all.

We will resolve your complaint to the best of our ability within 28 days of receiving everything we need from you to allow us to investigate. We will treat any complainant courteously and with respect, and expect the same in return from any complainant.

Failure to agree: complaining to IPSO

If we fail to meet the timescale, or you are unhappy with our final response to your complaint, you can complain to IPSO. IPSO offers a without-charge complaints handling service to the public in cases where there has been a disagreement between complainants and publishers over whether the Editors’ Code has been breached.

Policy changes

VBD reserves the right to amend this policy as required to ensure compliance with IPSO and its regulations, and will update the guidance here or another url. Any complaints will be considered against the published policy at the date of receipt of any complaint.