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Encouraging young children to pursue veterinary careers

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By Charlotte Kerridge

‘What is the first thing we do when examining a dog?’ Gary Rutland, a vet nurse and practice support adviser at Bayer asked, as the company hosted an educational meeting at its HQ in Reading.

‘Cut off its head!’ exclaimed someone in the audience!

Laughter – as well as some expressions of concern – ensued before Rutland set the record straight. Working with Bella, a cavapoo, he then demonstrated a veterinary examination and explained what vets and vets nurses check for. His audience? School children keen to learn more about working with animals.

Rutland’s live examination of Bella was just one of the many hands-on workshops during two ‘Careers with Animals’ events earlier this month. The educational days, jointly hosted by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and Bayer, were attended by nearly 100 local school children. The first event was aimed at children aged 9 to 11, and the second was for those aged 14 to 17.

Veterinary teams from the RVC and Bayer led workshops on various career options that are possible through studying science and the vital roles the children could one day play if they pursued careers with animals.

The first day began with an encouraging start – a shower of hands flew up in the air when the children were asked ‘Who wants to become a vet or a vet nurse?’

Vet students from the RVC followed up with further questions such as ‘what animals …

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