A new framework setting out the treatments that vets can carry out during the coronavirus pandemic has been released.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons the regulator for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in the UK, hopes the framework will help vets to decide how to work safely and appropriately.
Vets are one of the groups of businesses that the government has confirmed can stay open during the pandemic.
The guidance, which has been provided to the profession in the form of a flowchart available at www.rcvs.org.uk/coronavirus, enables veterinary professionals to determine which particular treatments and procedures they can carry out under social distancing guidelines.
It is up to vets to use their judgment when deciding what treatments they actually offer, as this is dependent on facilities, staffing levels and local disease pressures.
Some key points of the guidance are:
> Veterinary work vital for the maintenance of the UK’s food supplies and food trade – such as ensuring food hygiene standards and supporting the livestock industry – should still be carried out, while observing biosecurity measures.
> Veterinary practices should take steps to provide emergency and critical care for seriously injured or ill animals.
> Where feasible and appropriate, veterinary practices can provide consultations for animal owners and their pets remotely.
> If cases can be supported while maintaining social distancing, or if the planned treatment could have animal health and welfare or public health implications if not carried out, then treatment may go ahead.