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‘WE recognise the important role that veterinary nurses have in animal care, but we do not recommend that Parliament should give legal protection to the title.’
So says Defra in response to an RCVS e-petition calling for the Government to protect the title ‘veterinary nurse’ by legally restricting it to registered veterinary nurses. The petition was launched in August 2015 (VR, August 22/29, 2015, vol 177, p 187) and has since been signed by more than 22,000 people. The Government responds to any official petition that achieves 10,000 signatures.
In its response, which was posted on January 8, Defra says that the Government is committed to the principle of proportionate regulation and believes in continuing to rely on existing laws to safeguard the health and welfare of animals receiving veterinary treatment.
It recognises that, within the context of the veterinary team, veterinary nurses undertake a variety of expert activities caring for sick animals. However, it says, ‘What sets professional veterinary nurses apart from other animal care workers is that they can perform certain tasks which ordinarily by law would be restricted to a veterinary surgeon; namely the provision of medical treatment …