BEVA Trust’s new focus on voluntary projects has inspired more than 45 BEVA members to get stuck in to some challenging healthcare and education initiatives both at home and abroad this year.

The BEVA Trust is the British Equine Veterinary Association’s philanthropic arm and was established almost 50 years ago. Historically the bulk of its expenditure was small grants relating to travel and education. However last year members decided the Trust should provide support for voluntary projects to help improve knowledge and welfare. They kicked off by assisting with a series of castration and healthcare clinics in the UK and helping with veterinary training schemes around the world.

Over the past year BEVA Trust veterinary volunteers have worked with the British Horse Society (BHS), Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Blue Cross, RSPCA, Horseworld and World Horse Welfare to help run five castration and healthcare clinics in the UK. They opened lines of communication with owners whose horses are deemed “at risk” and subsequently castrated over 140 horses, issued over 250 passports and, where appropriate, wormed horses, courtesy of Zoetis. The clinics were very well received and a further three have now been organised for this autumn.

BEVA Trust veterinary volunteers have also been busy helping horses around the world. Earlier this summer BEVA Trust volunteer Marta Ferrari spent five days in Cambodia, working with World Horse Welfare on an Equine Welfare Workshop aimed at assisting the Cambodia Pony Welfare Organisation to deliver advise to village vets working in rural areas. 
Back in February intrepid equine veterinary volunteer Alfonso Martin from Auburn Equine Clinic in County Antrim travelled to West Africa to help train veterinary students in Senegal and vets in Mauritania, as part of an initiative organised by SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad). 

In addition BEVA Trust sponsored the fifth International Equine Veterinary Seminar (IEVS), which was held in Ukraine last autumn. The Trust provided support for the travel costs of lecturers, including Derek Knottenbelt and Alison Talbot, who presented papers to 46 vets from Ukraine and Belarus. The Trust will continue their support of the Seminar this year, with Luke Edwards and Graham Duncanson set to visit Kiev.

Julian Samuelson, chair of the Trust Review Committee, and Managing Director of The Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic in Kent, said: “The BEVA Trust’s new focus is proving to be a huge success. The voluntary opportunities we have offered have been extremely well subscribed and, as a consequence, the veterinary work that’s been done is making a real difference to equine welfare both at home and abroad. We are planning a raft of new projects for 2017.”

Meanwhile there is still a chance to get stuck in to some voluntary work this year. Three castration and healthcare clinics have been scheduled for the autumn: Thursday 22nd September - Central Kent, Wednesday 12th October – Cardiff and Wednesday 19th October - North West (Venue TBC).

If you would like to volunteer a day of your time for any of the three clinics above please email lara@beva.org.uk. Please note that the help of qualified nurses and new graduates would be appreciated at these clinics too.