The British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) is inviting veterinary professionals to have their say on the statutory protection of the title ‘veterinary nurse’ in its recently launched ‘Protect the Title’ survey. The data collected will provide an overview of how those within the veterinary professions feel about the issue, plus how it may or may not affect them, their patients and the public – who are also being surveyed.

The BVNA is supported in its ‘Protect the Title’ campaign by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Following the work of the RCVS Legislation Working Party (LWP), statutory protection of the title ‘veterinary nurse’ has already been recommended to the government (DEFRA) by the RCVS Council. This recommendation forms part of proposals for wider legislative change to the 1966 Veterinary Surgeons Act.

The survey will gather information on how veterinary professionals feel about the title not being protected, and how this may impact them in their work – themselves, their patients, and pet owners. It will also provide more detail on the current understanding of the role of the veterinary nurse amongst the general public, and how they feel about the potential use of unqualified staff. Veterinary practices are being encouraged to share the public targeted version of the survey amongst their clients.

BVNA President, Alex Taylor commented: “Statutory protection of the title ‘veterinary nurse’ is long overdue. The aim of the BVNA survey is to really dig deep and find out what this means to veterinary nurses, the wider profession and the public. Although change can take time, it is happening, but we need to produce evidence that will further support this change – filling in this survey will do just that. Whilst safeguarding animal and public health are good enough reasons alone, for many veterinary nurses protecting the title has special meaning because it helps us feel more valued as professionals, which is vital if we want a sustainable workforce”.

The surveys, for both veterinary professionals and the public, will remain open until the end of the year. A report of the findings will then be produced and published by BVNA, which will also be presented to DEFRA to support the proposal.

To thank survey respondents, there is an option to enter into a prize draw for two £25 Amazon vouchers (one for each survey) with winners selected every two weeks throughout the survey period.

The surveys are available to complete and/or share at the following links:

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