Making a profession less appealing will not increase numbers

I first heard about an attempt to make vets perform community service last year. There is a decent reason for the community service, there aren’t enough vets, particularly in rural areas, and this will put vets where they are needed. That bill is currently being presented and would require newly-qualified veterinarians to perform one year of community service before being allowed to practice or before the government will give a reference. This in the hopes of stopping the 45% of vets that leave the country after qualifying from doing so. Continue reading

More on pets: part 1

Previously I posted my letter about cat sterilisation, specifically saying that it wasn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Of course that sounds radical as nearly everyone would say you should have your cat sterilised, indeed that was the very message of the piece to which I was replying and a message endorsed by the respected SPCA. So I’m taking this opportunity, with considerably more space, to further expand on the reasons for writing what I did.

I’ll admit there was a slight problem in my reply, that being that I was not familiar with the literature on cat sterilisation. However cats are not the only animals that are sterilised and I was basing my letter on Laura J. Sanborn’s article, The Long Term Health Effects of Spay/Neuter in Dogs, which I had previously encountered. The article which I read came up with these, shocking to me at the time conclusions. Continue reading