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Bill to protect ‘veterinary nurse’ title welcomed by industry

PoliticsHome | Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons | British Veterinary Association

3 min read Partner content

A Private Members’ Bill to the House of Lords which would legally protect the title ‘veterinary nurse’ has been submitted by Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Council member Professor the Lord Trees.

Lord Trees commented: “It is very exciting, and a privilege, to be entering a Private Members’ Bill to protect the title veterinary nurse into the ballot for Private Members’ Bills in Parliament. If we are drawn high enough in the ballot, and if we can get Parliamentary time – two important ‘ifs’ – I am confident that the Bill will receive total cross-party support.

“It would mark the final brick in the wall of creating a fully-fledged, recognised and protected veterinary nursing profession. This is what the veterinary nursing profession merits and the public deserve.”

The move has been welcomed by the British Veterinary Association, who’s President said the submission would “undoubtedly help place the issue on the new Government’s agenda and BVA will do everything it can to promote and support the Bill.


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“The BVA has long supported full recognition of the role of veterinary nurses, who are an essential part of the veterinary team. The new RCVS Charter was a historic step that established a regulated veterinary nursing profession. Now we need to go one step further and protect the title of RVN.

“We fully support RCVS on this Bill and commend the work of Lord Trees as we are hearing loud and clear from our members that this is an issue they are passionate about, and they want to see this title protected.

“Not only will this recognise the skills of qualified veterinary nurses and the unique contribution they make to the veterinary team, it will give clients confidence in the professional roles of all team members caring for their animals.

“We’ll be doing our best to ensure the Bill progresses through the various stages required – including being drawn sufficiently high in the ballot and debated in the Lords and Commons – before it is enshrined into law.”

Lord Trees submitted the ‘Veterinary Nurses (Protection of Title) Bill’ to the ballot of the House of Lords on Tuesday 19 May. This means that, if drawn sufficiently highly in the ballot, the Bill will be debated in the Lords and the Commons and, if approved by both Houses, would become law.

As it is drawn up, the Bill would prohibit use of the title ‘veterinary nurse’ for any person whose name is not on the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses. Any non-registered person who used the title veterinary nurse or a name, title or description that implied they were on the Register, would be guilty of an offence and may be fined or convicted under the Veterinary Surgeons Act.

The House of Lords ballot will be drawn at the end of business on Wednesday 27th May after the State Opening of Parliament. In the meantime, the RCVS is encouraging registered veterinary nurses to back its campaign to protect the title and raise awareness of the issue with their clients. Further details about the campaign, including a short animated film, can be found at

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