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RCVS Consults with Veterinary Nurses on the Proposals for a New Veterinary Surgeons Act

12 March 2003

Following the recent mailing to all veterinary surgeons of a consultation document on a new Veterinary Surgeons Act, the RCVS is now seeking the views of Listed Veterinary Nurses for their views on the issues relating to veterinary nursing.

The issues for veterinary nurses are set out in more detail than in the first consultation document. Arguments are presented in support of a system of regulation for veterinary nurses, either under the umbrella of the RCVS or as a new independent regulatory body which might regulate all para-professionals or veterinary nurses alone.

It is important that veterinary nurses as well as veterinary surgeons are aware of the implications of changes in legislation and that they contribute to the debate.

The Chairman of the Veterinary Nurses Council, Roger Eddy, said today, "The veterinary nursing scheme started in 1962 and has come a long way since then. Veterinary nurses are now recognised world wide as valuable members of the veterinary team. However there is no mechanism in place to regulate the professional conduct of veterinary nurses.

"This is something that needs to be corrected in a new Veterinary Surgeons Act. Regulation of professional conduct supported by a statutory framework for maintenance of professional standards will allow veterinary nursing to become a true 'profession' in the traditional meaning of the term."

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