Four months down and BEVA has been occupied with projects, politics, external events and internal activities... there’s certainly been no lack of opportunities for the Association to find things to do in 2019! David Mountford, our CEO tells us more...

The year kicked off with a reminder that flu can leap up and bite you on the bum when you’re least expecting it – BEVA played a part in many of the discussions with the AHT, the BHA, equestrian sports and rural events and helped, behind the scenes, in providing prompt communication to the profession and to horse owners and in keeping tabs on vaccine availability.  Flu drifted off the front pages only for EVA to raise its ugly head... BEVA continues to liaise over Defra’s investigations.

Elsewhere on the infectious disease front, BEVA was involved in the Strangles Symposium in Scotland and, having taken over the Registered CEM Laboratory List from the HBLB last year, is driving a review of guidance for the CEM labs.  The association has additionally been called upon to provide input to a Biosecurity project, led by the BEF, which has the ambitious goal of preventing the spread of infectious disease across UK horses.

BEVA has also developed some bold projects of its own.  The raw results of the President’s Recruitment and Retention survey have been published and have, as we had hoped, generated some lively debate.  Three pilot meetings have been held, one to look at what vets and the authorities could or should do to protect our shrinking anthelmintic armoury, another to horizon scan, on the back of the RCVS’s Vet Futures work, to see what might be in store specifically for equine practice, and the last to consider how vets might be able to affect behaviour change amongst owners of obese horses and ponies.

On the political stage BEVA has continued to work on Defra to ensure that Equine ID systems are a help to vets and the equine industry rather than a hindrance.  The association has also been very busy behind the scenes on Brexit matters relating to the movement of horses and we were pleasantly surprised to find that, whilst the politicians bickered and dithered, the Brexit team of civil servants were doing some outstanding work in the trenches to prepare for a potential No Deal Brexit.  B-word activities also raised semen imports and we were recently able to leverage a meeting with Ministers to coerce Defra into the decision to allow copies of original health certificates to accompany imports of fresh semen from the rest of the EU…