On Monday 10th November, Bill Gates came to the House of Lords talk about the impact of overseas aid. The event, held as part of a new series of occasional internal lectures, was held in the elaborately decorated Robing Room in front of a packed audience of Parliamentarians. A Q&A session on the impact of UK aid and the work of the Gates Foundation followed the lecture. The event was sponsored by Malaria No More UK and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Case for Aid: A Conversation with Bill Gates
Q&A – Rabies eradication
Lord Trees asked a question of Bill Gates at around 53:09 regarding the Gates Foundation approach to eradication of rabies. This horrific disease often occurs in children following a dog bite. Due to its significant ongoing impact on public health, rabies is a potential candidate for veterinarians to lead a worldwide programme of eradication in the name of OneHealth. Currently, the Gates Foundation does not have concrete plans to eradicate rabies, but is working toward case reduction by vaccination of domestic animals.
The evening of Wednesday the 5th of November was the RCVS President’s reception at Belgravia House. The annual reception is a great opportunity for representatives of all the various components of the veterinary profession to get together and discuss the year ahead.
During his speech, RCVS President Professor Stuart Reid was able to announce that a new Royal Charter had just peen approved by Privy Council, which will officially recognise the RCVS as a regulator of veterinary nurses.
On Wednesday the 5th November the Veterinary Schools Council, a new body representing the UK vet schools, held a launch event in the Attlee Room at the House of Lords. The Council intends to provide an authoritative voice on all aspects of veterinary education and its membership, the heads of the veterinary schools, are well placed to do just that.
At the launch, sponsored by Lord Trees, we heard Professor Sir Peter Rubin talk about what goes into designing a vet school and John Williams of the Wellcome Trust on the importance of veterinary education to the health of the nation.
All-Party Parliamentary Group for Eggs, Pigs & Poultry
The APPG for Eggs, Pigs and Poultry held its annual reception on Wednesday 29th October, hosted by the chairman of the APPG, Neil Parish MP. The group exists as a cross-party body to inform Peers and MPs interested in the egg, poultry meat and pork sectors. The group has the support of the National Pig Association, the British Poultry Council, the British Egg Industry Council and the National Farmers Union.
The reception is an informal affair and Neil Parish gave a short address on the progress of the enquiry currently being led by the APPG into planning, antibiotics and welfare associated with egg, pig and poultry production. Only the day before, the group had concluded its final evidence session. Several Peers and MPs attended the reception to chat to the industry representatives about their concerns. These concerns included, but were not limited to: parasitic red mite infestation, the 2018 EU beak-trimming ban and alternative options to prevent cannibalism, African swine fever, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus, and consumer understanding of quality assurance schemes.
On Tuesday 28th the VPRF was present alongside numerous MPs and Lords for the annual Dogs Trust Parliamentary Reception.
During the reception the Minister Lord De Mauley announced that the new regulations on dog microchipping, due to come into force in 2016, would be laid before Parliament the very same day. You can read the draft legislation on the legislation.gov.uk website: The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014.
In addition to the news regarding the new legislation, it was announced that Camilla Baldwin OBE, who first joined Dogs Trust in 1974, will be stepping down as CEO to be replaced by Adrian Burder.
Her Majesty the Queen came to Westminster today for the State Opening of Parliament. I was lucky enough to be able to watch from the Royal Gallery (between the Robing Room and the Princes’ Chamber) and saw the procession into and out of the Lords’ Chamber. Whilst the speech was good, it was also rather vague and left plenty of leeway for interpretation as the Government sees fit. Highlights of the morning were the Officers of Arms who look jolly smart dressed as coats of arms and hold what can only be described as wands (I am sure they have an official name & use), and the Cap of Maintenance, which shall now and forever be known as the Sorting hat. The Houses of Parliament seem more and more like Hogwarts.
A think tank for veterinary and para-veterinary policy.