Human, not animal, behaviour to take centre stage at BVA Congress 2017

15 August 2017

BVA Congress sessions are open to all London Vet Show attendees

Congress, held at London Vet Show (16 – 17 November), will this year look at
new ways of tackling familiar issues with a focus on human behaviour, with
Congress debates featuring a line-up of experts digging deep behind the headlines
and sharing statistics to provide new insights into well-known problems.

The two-day
programme of sessions will cover a broad range of topics related to the
veterinary world, from brachycephalic breeds to Brexit, but a common theme will
be how veterinary teams can better understand human behaviour to improve
outcomes for animal health and welfare and for the profession.

In the
BVA Congress opening session on Thursday morning (9.30am, 16 November), ‘Nudge,
nudge – how can we change owner behaviour for better welfare?', attendees will
hear from the Behavioural Insights Team which pioneered the application of the
‘nudge theory' of behaviour change in Government, as well as finding out how
new technology might help the next generation of pets

first Thursday afternoon session entitled ‘Pug pulling power' – run
in association with the Animal Welfare Foundation – will debate what makes
brachycephalic breeds so popular, and what the veterinary profession should be
doing about this concerning trend. And

afternoon's session will delve into ‘The psychology of antimicrobial
resistance', asking what social science can tell us about client and
prescriber behaviour and motivations in relation to production and companion

ahead with Vet Futures

number of BVA Congress sessions will focus on the future of the veterinary
profession, building on the work of Vet Futures, the jointly led project by BVA
and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). These will include an
update from the RCVS Graduate Outcomes project and debate ‘What will we need
from tomorrow's vets?' as well as a session on the in-depth workforce study, prompted
by the Vet Futures report: ‘Veterinary workforce crisis: what's really going

and errors

interactive session on ‘Everyday dilemmas – navigating tough cases in practice'
will include real-life examples of thorny cases that don't have an obvious
answer, but which every vet is likely to face at some point in their careers. While
on Friday morning, ‘We are how we vet – adapting to our environments and coping
with errors', in association with the Mind Matters Initiative, will
explore the sensitive concept of ‘second victim syndrome', which is well
recognised in the medical profession to explain feelings of guilt and
frustration associated with medical error.

Brexit and beyond

Friday, BVA Congress will look at two major issues facing the profession:
Brexit and the possible reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act. In ‘Brexit and
the veterinary profession' BVA's current President, Gudrun Ravetz, will
lead the discussion on what happens next in Brexit negotiations, and in ‘Veterinary
Surgeons Act: an open and shut case?' RCVS and British Veterinary Nursing
Association Presidents will join colleagues to examine the arguments for and
against new legislation. There will also be the keynote Wooldridge Memorial
Lecture, with a high-profile speaker to be announced shortly.

Vet Show will open with a welcome from the British Veterinary Association
President first thing on Thursday 16 November. John Fishwick, who, subject to
vote at BVA AGM (21 September), will be BVA President at London Vet Show, said:

“This exceptional programme will examine a
wide range of issues of critical importance for the profession. It will be
particularly fascinating to explore the connections between human behaviour and
animal welfare and to consider how these connections affect our work and our

very much looking forward to joining the debates and I would encourage all vets
to make room in their busy London Vet Show schedule to attend BVA Congress and
be part of these discussions. The BVA sessions are open to all London Vet Show
attendees, not just BVA members, and they count towards CPD. The sessions are
interactive, so as well as learning more about the social and political
environments we work in they are an opportunity to debate with colleagues, learn
from each other and feed into some of BVA's exciting lobbying and campaign work.”

Continuous Professional Development

In addition to BVA Congress, BVA have
programmed world-class clinical streams including the BVA Farm Animal Stream
and the BVA/BEVA Equine Stream, programmed by BVA in partnership with BEVA.
Both streams are for the general practitioner, particularly those in mixed
practice who may not be treating farm animals or equines exclusively.

New for 2017, we're delighted that five BVA
specialist divisions will be running sessions in the BVA Farm Associations
Room; The British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA), Pig Veterinary Society
(PVS), British Veterinary Poultry Association (BVPA), Sheep Veterinary Society
(SVS) and Goat Veterinary Society (GVS) are each hosting sessions designed to
offer delegates a more in-depth look at each of the species they represent. The
popular BVA Career Development Stream will provide personal and professional
development for all career stages. All attendees can get their holiday passport
stamped to win an adventure holiday for two to Goa at the BVA stand.

Congress is open to all attendees at the London Vet Show. BVA members get
access to the full BVA offering, as well as the usual London Vet Show
programme, for 15% less than the lowest advertised price. To book simply enter
your BVA membership number and the code BVA 8 to claim your discount when you
book online at