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Posted: 22nd December 2023

MPs hear about need to protect veterinary nurse title
BVNA president Lyndsay Hughes with BVNA junior vice-president Craig Tessyman and Patricia Gibson MP.
BVNA and RCVS co-host drop-in session at Westminster.

The British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) have co-hosted a drop-in session for MPs to discuss the need to legally protect the ‘veterinary nurse’ title.

The event at Portcullis House, Westminster, on 13 December saw MPs from across the House of Commons hear about the need to update the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 so that only qualified and regulated individuals can call themselves veterinary nurses.

According to the BVNA’s ‘Protect the Title’ survey, 76 per cent of the public did not know that the title can be used by anyone, despite 92 per cent feeling that it was important that their pet was cared for by a qualified and regulated veterinary nurse.

Sponsored by Neil Hudson MP, the only veterinary surgeon in the House of Commons, the event was attended by BVNA president Lyndsay Hughes, BVNA junior vice-president Craig Tessyman, RCVS president Sue Paterson, and chair of RCVS VN Council Belinda Andrews-Jones.

Ms Hughes said: “BVNA were delighted to host this engagement session in Parliament alongside the RCVS – especially so because the veterinary nursing profession was its clear focus.

“Having the opportunity to hold a specific event for our profession to engage directly with parliamentarians represents a significant shift towards greater recognition of veterinary nurses, and their impact on both animal and human health. Our voices are being heard.”

Dr Hudson said: “Veterinary nurses play a vital role in promoting animal health and welfare. Therefore it is imperative we take concrete steps to protect their title and uphold the standards of the profession.

“Thank you to the BVNA and the RCVS for helping bring this issue to the attention to my parliamentary colleagues from all sides of the political spectrum.”

Image © BVNA

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