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BVA Congress moves back to London

The 2005 BVA Congress takes place at The Royal Society of Medicine, London W1 on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October, with the programme featuring two main themes, biosecurity and coping with change in practice.

While biosecurity did not feature prominently in the main political parties’ election campaigns earlier this year heightened concern surrounding avian ‘flu recently indicates the importance of the issue. The first day of BVA Congress will therefore be devoted to a political forum, ‘Biosecurity – the Big Question’. Speakers will explore current challenges, the control measures in place at European, national and local level and the contribution the veterinary profession can make.

The challenges of disease control internationally will be discussed in the plenary Wooldridge Memorial Lecture, which will be given by Professor Paul Gibbs of the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Florida, who will explain how increased movements of people, animals and produce, along with the effects of climate change and the ongoing threat of bio-terrorism, are raising the stakes.

The second day of Congress debates will examine some of the forces impacting on practice, and under the overall heading of ‘Coping with change in practice’ will consider new medicines legislation, the effects of Government policies on higher education, the challenges arising as a result of the changing demographics in the profession, proposals relating to a new Veterinary Surgeons Act and the extension of the ‘veterinary team’ and the increasing demands of the provision of 24-hour cover.

Saturday’s alternative sessions will be geared towards recent graduates. They include a debate on employment opportunities in the context of increasing numbers of graduates and the burden of student debt, as well as a presentation on personal finance. There will also be an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at veterinary activity at London Zoo.

BVA Congress provides a unique opportunity for veterinary surgeons to make their views known. The debates at BVA Congress help to shape BVA policy and with Government and European decisions continuing to have an impact on the profession at every level, Congress provides an important opportunity for the profession to influence developments that will affect it directly.