Posted: Wed 17th Jun 2020

Vets still offering services during lockdown – animal owners asked to follow guidance set by veterinary organisations

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 17th, 2020

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Many pet owners are concerned about whether their local vets continue to offer routine service during the current movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Veterinarians are keen to reassure the public – domestic pet owners, agricultural businesses, horse owners and other animal keepers – that while some of the services they offer are restricted, the service is available and available. be able to offer support across all areas of their work.

Essential visits to farms and other agricultural businesses also continue to ensure animal health and welfare and the continuity and security of the food supply chain. 

To make sure that veterinarians can continue to offer a service during this time, animal owners are asked to follow some wise measures: 

  • Check the veterinary or social media websites for any guidelines on opening hours, the range of services currently offered and arrangements to allow social distance.
  • Calling veterinarians to opt for remote advice (where practicable) rather than a personal visit.
  • Understand that veterinarians will follow social distance requirements, and that such procedures may take longer to complete than usual – owners are asked to be patient, and to respect the the fact that vets are working under more pressure.
  • Although veterinarians continue to share medication for pets, owners who need regular medication or prescriptions are advised to apply at least a few days in advance if they think their animal’s medication is coming to an end, rather than waiting to the current supply ends.
  • Although many animal owners have been exercising in rural areas with their pets during the current restrictions, they are advised to continue to adhere to any guidelines to keep dogs on leads, or to observe footpaths when walking, such as there is less risk to livestock.
  • If you are expecting a visit from a veterinarian at your site, farmers and other agricultural business owners should make sure that distance keeping guidelines can be followed; including assistance in keeping farm animals under control etc.
  • Staying local and staying with local vets, as well as following current regulations, also helps vets maintain their workload and ensure their continued viability during the pandemic.

Advice on all of the above and more is available from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA).   Owners are advised to regularly check the guidance offered by both bodies, which will develop in accordance with Welsh Government regulations. 

Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, said: “At the start of the movement restrictions, many veterinarians restricted the services offered to essential emergency services. 

“But as restrictions change, in line with Welsh Government reviews every three weeks, vets have been able to restart other services, while still following the social distance guidelines and providing personal protective equipment for staff.   

Professor Glossop added: “Animal owners who are considering contacting their regular vets should read the advice offered by the BVA and RCVS – it should give them peace of mind and help them decide what to do next , before calling the veterinary center to discuss their concerns. ” 

Ifan Lloyd, President of the Wales Branch of the BVA, said: “Our advice to pet owners is to ask their local vets for any guidance or advice they may have. 

“It is not possible for owners to appear with their animals and expect to be seen on the day, as many have in the past. But neither should they stay away altogether or assume that centers have stopped offering services altogether. 

“The community of vets has worked hard to make sure the services can continue, and the advice they are giving – as well as from the BVA and RCVS – will be of great help to owners when deciding whether a problem needs to be dealt with immediately, and if not, how they can look after their animal’s health at a later date. ” 

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “As a pet owner who has had to use my local vet many times during the movement restrictions, I want to commend the efforts of the vets who continue to provide vital services. 

“These services are important not only in the health of pets, but have also played a vital role in managing the safety of food supply chains in rural communities across Wales, and the welfare and safety of agricultural animals.” 

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