‘The British Veterinary Association stands with all members and Team Vet colleagues who face prejudice. We want to state clearly that Black Lives Matter and it is up to all of us to act against racism and discrimination.’
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These are the words of BVA President Daniella Dos Santos in a statement we issued on 4 June. In the past month global events have put a focus on discrimination against people of colour and, along with many others, we stood up to say definitively that Black Lives Matter.
In 2019 we ran the first survey on discrimination in the veterinary profession. It found that 24 per cent of working vets and vet students had experienced or witnessed discrimination in the past year. The incidence of discrimination was higher among vets from a range of minority ethnic backgrounds – 26 per cent compared to 13 per cent among those from a white British/Irish background – and 27 per cent of all incidents involved race discrimination.
Our Good Workplace Working Group has been looking at discrimination in the workplace and will be making some recommendations later this year – the group’s report is going to BVA Council in July and we’ll be promoting the findings in the autumn. In the meantime, we highly recommend downloading resources such as the Tell MAMA Anti-Discrimination Toolkit available at www.tellmamauk.org/resources/ and the ACAS advice on discrimination, bullying and harassment at www.acas.org.uk/discrimination-bullying-and-harassment
We’re also pleased to work alongside the British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society, which aims to promote, support and educate on issues of race and ethnicity in the veterinary sector. Please consider joining or supporting BVEDS – you can find out more at www.bveds.com or on social media.
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