Email to UK veterinarians February 2014

RCVS reform

Dear veterinary colleagues,

In March 2013 I emailed some proposals re RCVS reform (along the same lines I'd suggested when I stood for RCVS Council in 2006). I contacted 38% of the UK practices (ie. 1877 out of 4913) and received 381 responses, which indicated that about 21% of RCVS members were showing a political interest - this closely matched the level of interest shown in the annual RCVS elections (ie. 17% to 21%).

Perhaps a more relevant statistic was that 331 of the 381 responses (ie. 87%) were positive towards the idea of implementing some level of RCVS reform: 13% were negative. Eighty-two per cent of the negative responses (ie. 41/50) were returned from Vets4Pets practices, and this may suggest a corporate decision behind the bloc vote. If the positive responses from the survey were to be extrapolated into next year's RCVS Council elections then I would most likely be successful, and I would certainly become proactive in lobbying for RCVS reform. Recent events however preclude me from standing for Council. Ultimately, given my proactive and at times vocal stance in favour of RCVS reform, the recent events were not unexpected. I've left a six-month 'cooling off' period before replying to the RCVS actions [please see below].

The political pendulum has remained out of balance [ie. against the interests of veterinarians] for a lengthy period of time and requires a more healthy equilibrium. It's understandable that practitioners might not wish to jeopardise a licence to practice [ie. their MRCVS] through political involvement. Perhaps something or someone will come along to reform the RCVS and initiate the changes that may swing the pendulum to a more balanced position.

Kind regards,

Dr. Marcus Hutber