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Senior vets’ alarm at BVA

SIXTEEN PAST presidents of the British Veterinary Association have expressed concern over the state of the organisation in a letter in the profession’s own journal the Veterinary Record. Amongst the signatories was Mr Mike Stockman former chairman of Crufts committee, Kennel Club General Committee member and trustee.

The allegations which include ‘harassment, staff intimidation, bullying and possible financial mismanagement at the association’s headquarters in Marylebone, west London, came several weeks ahead of the 2002 BVA AGM on October 6th.and Congress at which Barry Johnson a past president of the royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has called for a vote of no confidence in the continued from p.1

Council in a letter to the Veterinary Times of August 5th.

The presidents, all of whom were in office over the last fifty years, called for greater transparency and openness in the light of the two independent inquiries into the profession which examined the allegations said to be ‘tearing the profession apart and damaging its reputation.’

Mirroring Kennel Club concerns that the profession would be seen as laughing stock in the eyes of the government if transparency wasn’t applied, attention was drawn to the lack of confidence in the organisation particularly in the wake of the adverse publicity surrounding the veterinary involvement in last year’s foot and mouth crisis.

One independent report even questioned the management style of the chief executive Jim Baird and his assistant Ailsa Edwards and catalogued a whole list of problems highlighted by past and current staff at the London office. These included ‘low morale, and an atmosphere of distrust, secrecy and fear.’ This has lead to a high turnover of staff and prompted others to join a union.

OUR DOGS contacted the BVA’s office earlier this week and spokesman said, “In the light of concerns raised by staff, the Executive Committee of BVA appointed an independent investigator. The report of the investigator has been received and is being actioned. In view of the necessity for the process to be conducted fairly, I am not in a position to say any more at this stage”.

Meanwhile the current president Andrew Scott confirmed that the report was being ‘actioned’ and that for legal reasons he was unable to comment further.