Tag Archives: VPRF

Do you want to be the next Parliamentary veterinary intern?

credit: Gabrielle Laing

The internship offers the chance to work at the House of Lords alongside the sole veterinarian in Parliament. It offers a personal insight into veterinary policy and the parliamentary process; a chance for those interested in policy making and the roles of veterinarians in society to develop new skills and provides a unique career development opportunity.

The position is open to veterinary graduates (who are MRCVS) and to veterinary undergraduates at any UK veterinary school who have completed the third year of the undergraduate course.  Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to the advancement of the veterinary profession in the UK.

– £23,000 pa,
– London based
– One year appointment
– Part-time (4day/wk whilst Parliament is sitting, c.135 days/yr)
– Start October 2019

CLOSING DATE: 30th April 2019
Please see the job description on the ‘Parliamentary Veterinary Intern’ page for more details of how to apply.

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BVA AWF Discussion Forum 2015

The Veterinary Policy Research Foundation (VPRF) took part in the popular and enjoyable BVA Animal Welfare Foundation Discussion Forum once again this year.

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Lord Trees and Chris Lawrence at the BVA AWF reception

The topics covered, including antimicrobial resistance, welfare at slaughter, population control and indiscriminate breeding, and the use of advanced veterinary practice. We took particular interest in Professor Steve Wotton’s talk on the latest research on the stunning of animals before slaughter and the nuances of appropriately stunning poultry to both effectively stun the birds regardless of their size and yet not induce cardiac arrest so that the stun is demonstrably irreversible – a necessity for Halal consumers.

There was a great deal of discussion and debate around the enforcement, or lack of, animal welfare law with particular reference to import/export and indiscriminate breeding. The general impression given by the veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in attendance was one of frustration that these oft discussed issues are still not being effectively addressed and impotence that when they are faced with a potential animal welfare issue there is no clear path to follow.

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Parliamentary Veterinary Intern and guests at the 2015 BVA AWF Reception.

The 2015 Discussion Forum concluded with a reception on the House of Commons terrace hosted by Neil Parish MP.

Parliamentary Veterinary Internship applications

The Parliamentary Veterinary Internship is designed to support the activities of Professor the Lord Trees, with the successful candidate expected to work three days a week whilst Parliament is sitting (around 110-120 days a year).

The Westminster-based role is for one year (with a possibility to extend to two years), starting in October, with a salary of £17,000. The role has been advertised and applications close on Monday 27th April.

For full details of the position see the job advert.

Non-stun slaughter Fact File

Declaration of interest: This authors of this document declare they would wish to see all animals stunned before slaughter.

Statement of intention: This document is intended for the public, politicians and professionals and aims to present an unbiased, factual and up-to-date account of the current information available on non-stun slaughter.

Please download a copy of the latest VPRF Animal Welfare and Non-Stun Slaughter Factfile using the link below:

Non stun slaughter fact file updated October 2016

Record of Edits
July 2014 – Initial document published
November 2015 – Updated to include new legislation (WATOK (England) 2015) and new estimates for numbers of animals slaughtered using stun and non-stun methods.
June 2016 – Further updates to include reference to result of EU referendum.
October 2016 – Update to include results of a survey of UK Islamic scholars on perception and acceptability of stunning

Weds 2nd April 2014

Foundation for Science and Technology

Policy choices for the reduction of bovine tuberculosis

Last week, the Foundation for Science and Technology met at the Royal Society to discuss bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in the UK and what policy choices might be available to the Government. Bovine TB strategy in the UK hinges primarily on cattle controls, but it is generally agreed that there is a need to address the sylvatic reservoir of disease in badgers. Unfortunately, the Report of the Independent Expert Panel on Pilot Badger Culls (IEP Report) was due to be released by the time the meeting was convened, but it was not released until two days later (04/04/14).

The speakers were as follows:

  • Adam Quinney: Farmer and former Vice-President, NFU
  • Professor Rosie Woodroffe: Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London
  • Dr Miles Parker OBE FSB: Senior Research Associate, Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge

We were also due to hear from Professor Ian Boyd, Government Chief Scientific Adviser at DEFRA, but due to the impending release of the IEP Report he was unable to attend.

Mr Quinney summarised the history of bTB controls in the UK and highlighted the distrust between the farming community and DEFRA. Professor Woodroffe gave a talk to explain how infections spread, what factors affect the reproductive rate of an infection and her thoughts on vaccination as a strategy for badgers. Dr Parker came third with a talk about trends in the incidence and prevalence of bTB since the FMD outbreak in 2001/02. He outlined methods for managing bTB and re-iterated the point that vaccination alone is not wholly effective; a comprehensive strategy is necessary.

In summary it was agreed that whilst there is much polarisation over some aspects of bTB control, there is widespread consensus on others. It is important to build a strategy upon those latter aspects. It would also be great to hear a projection for cattle vaccine introduction that isn’t perpetually ‘about 10 years away’.

Foundation for Science and Technology