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Veterinary profession launches initiatives at Parliament

Media Release

22 August 2011

Veterinary profession launches initiatives at Parliament

The veterinary profession has launched a modern Code of Professional Conduct and a Veterinary Toolkit .

"These two initiatives are particularly important given the profession has been celebrating 250 years as a recognised profession. Both the new Code and the Toolkit are significant milestones for the profession," Gavin Sinclair, President of the Veterinary Association, (NZVA) said today.

"The major overhaul of the Code of Professional Conduct is the first revision since 1994 and reflects the considerable advances in the veterinary profession, and also the growing public interest and concern around animal welfare issues," Ron Gibson, the Chair of the Veterinary Council of NZ (VCNZ) explained.

The Code introduces strict new criteria around cosmetic procedures. Such procedures must not be performed primarily for the convenience of the owner, such as tail docking of dogs.

The 24 hour care and emergency response requirements in the new Code will place an obligation on all veterinarians in clinical practice to arrange for a 24 hour emergency service to be provided to relieve unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress.

The Code also recognises the potential for drug abuse and has provisions to ensure veterinarians oversee and manage the use of controlled drugs to a higher standard than the obligations imposed by the law.

A complementary joint initiative by MAF/NZVA is a veterinary toolkit to help veterinarians involved in resolving animal welfare issues on farms which are often very stressful situations for all concerned.

"It was developed as part of the Government's recent animal welfare initiative Safeguarding our Animals, Safeguarding our Reputation The role of veterinarians in raising animal welfare issues with their clients and ensuring humane treatment of animals is to be encouraged as a positive, rather than intrusive, approach.

The initiatives were launched at a function at Parliament hosted by Agriculture Minister, Hon David Carter.

Ends

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