Human, not animal, behaviour to take centre stage at BVA Congress 2017


BVA Congress sessions are open to all
London Vet Show attendees
BVA Congress, held at London Vet Show (16 – 17 November), will this year look at new ways of tackling familiar issues with a focus on human behaviour, with Congress debates featuring a line-up of experts digging deep behind the headlines and sharing statistics to provide new insights into well-known problems.
The two-day programme of sessions will cover a broad range of topics related to the veterinary world, from brachycephalic breeds to Brexit, but a common theme will be how veterinary teams can better understand human behaviour to improve outcomes for animal health and welfare and for the profession.
In the BVA Congress opening session on Thursday morning (9.30am, 16 November), ‘Nudge, nudge – how can we change owner behaviour for better welfare?’, attendees will hear from the Behavioural Insights Team which pioneered the application of the ‘nudge theory’ of behaviour change in Government, as well as finding out how new technology might help the next generation of pets
The first Thursday afternoon session entitled ‘Pug pulling power’ – run in association with the Animal Welfare Foundation – will debate what makes brachycephalic breeds so popular, and what the veterinary profession should be doing about this concerning trend. And
Friday afternoon’s session will delve into ‘The psychology of antimicrobial resistance’, asking what social science can tell us about client and prescriber behaviour and motivations in relation to production and companion animals.

Looking ahead with Vet Futures

A number of BVA Congress sessions will focus on the future of the veterinary profession, building on the work of Vet Futures, the jointly led project by BVA and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). These will include an update from the RCVS Graduate Outcomes project and debate ‘What will we need from tomorrow’s vets?’ as well as a session on the in-depth workforce study, prompted by the Vet Futures report: ‘Veterinary workforce crisis: what’s really going on?’

Ethics and errors

Thursday’s interactive session on ‘Everyday dilemmas – navigating tough cases in practice’ will include real-life examples of thorny cases that don’t have an obvious answer, but which every vet is likely to face at some point in their careers. While on Friday morning, ‘We are how we vet – adapting to our environments and coping with errors’, in association with the Mind Matters Initiative, will explore the sensitive concept of ‘second victim syndrome’, which is well recognised in the medical profession to explain feelings of guilt and frustration associated with medical error.

Brexit and beyond

Throughout Friday, BVA Congress will look at two major issues facing the profession: Brexit and the possible reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act. In ‘Brexit and the veterinary profession’ BVA’s current President, Gudrun Ravetz, will lead the discussion on what happens next in Brexit negotiations, and in ‘Veterinary Surgeons Act: an open and shut case?’ RCVS and British Veterinary Nursing Association Presidents will join colleagues to examine the arguments for and against new legislation. There will also be the keynote Wooldridge Memorial Lecture, with a high-profile speaker to be announced shortly.
London Vet Show will open with a welcome from the British Veterinary Association President first thing on Thursday 16 November. John Fishwick, who, subject to vote at BVA AGM (21 September), will be BVA President at London Vet Show, said:
“This exceptional programme will examine a wide range of issues of critical importance for the profession. It will be particularly fascinating to explore the connections between human behaviour and animal welfare and to consider how these connections affect our work and our profession.
“I’m very much looking forward to joining the debates and I would encourage all vets to make room in their busy London Vet Show schedule to attend BVA Congress and be part of these discussions. The BVA sessions are open to all London Vet Show attendees, not just BVA members, and they count towards CPD. The sessions are interactive, so as well as learning more about the social and political environments we work in they are an opportunity to debate with colleagues, learn from each other and feed into some of BVA’s exciting lobbying and campaign work.”

Continuous Professional Development

In addition to BVA Congress, BVA have programmed world-class clinical streams including the BVA Farm Animal Stream and the BVA/BEVA Equine Stream, programmed by BVA in partnership with BEVA. Both streams are for the general practitioner, particularly those in mixed practice who may not be treating farm animals or equines exclusively.
New for 2017, we’re delighted that five BVA specialist divisions will be running sessions in the BVA Farm Associations Room; The British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA), Pig Veterinary Society (PVS), British Veterinary Poultry Association (BVPA), Sheep Veterinary Society (SVS) and Goat Veterinary Society (GVS) are each hosting sessions designed to offer delegates a more in-depth look at each of the species they represent. The popular BVA Career Development Stream will provide personal and professional development for all career stages. All attendees can get their holiday passport stamped to win an adventure holiday for two to Goa at the BVA stand.
BVA Congress is open to all attendees at the London Vet Show. BVA members get access to the full BVA offering, as well as the usual London Vet Show programme, for 15% less than the lowest advertised price.