Monday, December 9, 2019
At BEVA Congress 2019, Tim Mair took the reins from Renate Weller. Four months on we catch up with him to find out what council have been up to, his projects for the coming year and challenges facing the profession. 

Four months in as BEVA President, what have you been up to? 

In October I attended the BVNA Congress, where I initiated discussion about how we can collaborate on equine nurse education and CPD whilst discussing the idea of developing and extending the roles of equine nurses.  

It may seem a while away, but I’ve been working with the 2020 Congress Chair, Ceri Sherlock to plan the 2020 scientific programme, find out more from Ceri on page 28. We’ve also been continuing to develop our annual CPD programmes which has included working alongside Renate Weller to organise the first evidence-based farriery conference in 2020 (page 13).
I have been working on several projects that look at antimicrobial resistance including working with RCVS Knowledge to encourage and support uptake of quality improvement tools in equine practice and to develop an antimicrobial resistance audit for equine practices. We’ve been continuing our work with the University of Liverpool to run the antimicrobial use and resistance survey and begun talking with international equine veterinary associations to extend the survey worldwide.

I am also working with the Practice Standards Group on the five-yearly review of the Practice Standards Scheme including the possible introduction of a new category for multidisciplinary specialist referral hospitals. We’ve also been having discussions with the RCVS to find ways of promoting and supporting the Mind Matters initiative to improve mental well-being within the equine veterinary sector.

And lastly, investigating ways to promote sustainability in equine practice.

What else are BEVA doing at the moment?

We’ve launched BEVApod, a fortnightly podcast chatting about the latest news in veterinary. We also launched our online Welfare Toolkit at the end of 2019 (read more on page 16). We’ve also successfully deployed our Leg Up scheme for new and recent graduates (read more on page 6). The Education Committee are finalising our 2020 CPD programme and continuing development of our online learning platform.

In the last BEVA Quarter, you thought Brexit would be your biggest challenge, is this still the case? What has BEVA been doing in regards to preparing for Brexit?

Until we know more, BEVA are using social media and news updates to share updates from Defra on important issues such as transport of equines and availability of medicines to members. The updates can all be found here.

Following the results of the Recruitment and Retention Survey, what are BEVA doing to address the issues associated with the equine profession?

We are working to provide greater support for equine vets and practices; it’s in everything we do. An important part of my focus this year will be on our Equine Veterinary Horizons Project, looking at anticipated advances over the next 10 to 15 years, what they will mean to individual practitioners and to practices, and how we can adapt to and accommodate them to our best advantage.

The BEVA 2019 survey highlighted that members wanted to see BEVA promote equine practice to vet students better and offering them more support. What is BEVA doing?

In January we will be launching free student memberships to provide a better understanding of the realities of working in the equine field. We are also relaunching our Vet School Tours to include panel discussions on getting into equine practice, visiting all vet schools in the UK and a few in Europe. Furthermore, we’ve been working on developing a student hub on the website for advice and resources to promote working in the equine field. Finally, there are still places available for new graduates to sign up to our Leg Up scheme, offering one-to-one mentoring with equine vets.


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