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Debate The Big Issues Facing The Veterinary Profession At New BVA Live Sessions

3 months ago

14th April, 2022 11h15


Interactive pop-up discussions and debate sessions on big issues facing the profession from flexible working and sustainability to canine fertility clinics and feline welfare will debut at BVA Live this summer.

BVA Live, which takes place on 23 and 24 June 2022 at the NEC Birmingham will bring the veterinary community together to champion, support and empower the profession. The two-day event, which is open to all veterinary professionals, not just BVA members, includes an extensive exhibition and high quality, practical CPD covering clinical and non-clinical topics, as well as plenty of networking opportunities. 

 Experts from within and outside the veterinary profession will discuss and debate the latest developments and big issues facing veterinary professionals today in the BVA Career and Debate Theatre.

Silvia Janská, founder and CEO of Innoveting Consulting, and Dr Daniel Wheatley, of the Department of Management at the University of Birmingham, will take to the stage for the very first debate session of BVA Live: ‘Embracing flexible working so the profession doesn’t break’. This session will discuss how the pandemic forced practices to tear up the rulebook when it came to clinical rotas and why flexible working is so important. Flexible working may not be the silver bullet solution to the workforce crisis but the session will explore why and how employers may need to adapt in order to attract and retain the veterinary professionals of the future. 

A recent BVA survey found the majority of vets in clinical practice see the greatest opportunity for improving sustainability is in reducing the impact of veterinary businesses. But it can be difficult to take the first step towards becoming more sustainable. The ‘Sustainability Showcase’ will bring real life examples of #GreenTeamVet implementing real change to the stage. Speakers from a range of different veterinary settings will discuss what they set out to do, how they overcame barriers and what positive impact small changes can have, not only on their practice and team, but on clients and the planet itself. Delegates will be inspired by the actions of fellow veterinary professionals who have already made a difference in a busy workplace.

The pandemic saw an unprecedented boom in pet ownership and alongside it, the growth of a dark side of puppy breeding, as unregulated canine fertility clinics popped up across the UK. Undercover footage from a BBC documentary sent shockwaves through the veterinary community but many questions were left unanswered. ‘Canine culture wars: who’s to blame for the rise in canine fertility clinics?’ will explore why there has been an increase in these unscrupulous clinics and what the veterinary profession can do about it, with speakers Chief Inspector Mark Rafferty of the Scottish SPCA Special Investigations Unit, Kirsteen Campbell, Chief Executive of the Scottish SPCA, and Daniella Dos Santos former BVA President and veterinary surgeon. 

‘Why are cats always the underdog?’ is the topic of Thursday afternoon’s session, for which BVA has partnered with Mars Petcare to explore why cats can be overlooked politically and clinically. Madison Rogers, Senior Advocacy and Government Relations Officer, and Maggie Roberts, Director of Veterinary Services, both from Cats Protection, will be joined onstage by iCatCare’s Chief Executive Claire Bessant and Feline Medicine Specialist and ISFM Academy Lead Sam Taylor for this discussion on why cats don’t seem to get a look in when it comes to policy in comparison to dogs. The latest insights from the BVA Voice panel on which feline health and welfare issues the veterinary profession are most concerned about will also be revealed.

BVA Interactive Zone

New for BVA Live is the BVA Interactive Zone – inviting attendees to join a series of interactive pop-up sessions with a mix of content, including hot topic discussions, ethical dilemmas, and case reports. The hot topic pop-ups will ask the question “What if…?” and present future scenarios to be discussed by attendees on sustainability, extreme conformation, non-traditional companion animals, and the future regulation of the profession.

Hot topics up for discussion include:

The BVA journals team will also be facilitating pop-up sessions on ethical dilemmas from the popular In Practice everyday ethics column, and providing an opportunity for delegates to bring their own interesting cases to be discussed by the Case Reports team.   

BVA President Justine Shotton said: “Bringing members of the veterinary community together to discuss the big issues they care about and the important topics impacting the profession is one of the things BVA and CloserStill Media do best. We are so excited to welcome everyone to the event and to announce these new debate sessions.

“It’s fantastic to have so many experts from both within and outside of our profession bringing their skills and knowledge to the BVA Career and Debate Theatre sessions. We know they will not only be informative about some of the pressing issues facing the profession today but inspirational and thought-provoking as well.

“But the conversation and opportunity for debate doesn’t stop when the theatre sessions end. The informal pop-up sessions are a chance for attendees to get involved with the discussions, to share their views and network and we hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity.

“Don’t forget, this brand-new event is not just open to BVA members, but to all members of the veterinary community and we know there will something to interest, inspire and empower everyone.”

Charlotte Ellicott, Head of Marketing & Content at the Vet Shows said: “Facilitating different models of learning is a massive focus for us for the Vet Shows in 2022. BVA Live is the perfect opportunity for us to really promote two-way conversations between audience and speakers, an ambition of ours for a while.

“These debates and discussions really are key to this. They are not just different and engaging CPD but are the perfect opportunity for vet professionals to understand the issues they face and have their point of view heard and understood.”

Tickets are £211+VAT for members and £385+VAT for non-members.

However, from 9am on Thursday 14 April until 11:59pm on Monday 18 April members can get 10% extra off of the discounted rate when booking tickets for either BVA Live or the London Vet Show – or a whopping 30% off when you book both events at once.

For more information, to book your tickets and for the full conference programme please visit:

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