A recent news piece by BBC Morning Live spotlighted the abuse which veterinary staff can be subjected to, whether online or face-to-face. The piece follows a recent survey by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) which found that, in 2022, around half of clinical practice staff were intimidated by clients or faced abuse online.

The clip includes an interview with Hayley Evans, a veterinary nurse, who shares her experiences of how the current cost-of-living crisis has had a direct impact on the level of abuse she has received personally, alongside the rest of the team she works with. BVA President, Malcolm Morley, also provides guidance to viewers on how they can mitigate costs of veterinary care.

Watch here, starting from around 17:20; https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001q264/morning-live-series-5-29082023

BVNA President Charlotte Pace commented: “Practice teams understand that, especially in the current complex economic climate, veterinary bills can be worrying for many owners. Whilst we also know that a loved pet being unwell is upsetting, abuse is never warranted – whether in person or online.

“Abuse of veterinary staff is thankfully rare, however given the number of clients we see on a daily basis, it does happen. I have heard many stories of veterinary professionals being abused, and I have experienced it personally. It is hurtful to say the very least. Veterinary nurses undertake extensive training programmes and work long hours to ensure that we provide the best care that we can. Veterinary practices need to take this matter seriously, to protect all veterinary staff.”

BVA have recently produced a client handout, with the aim of helping to explain the cost of veterinary bills, how to help minimise pet care costs, and the role of pet insurance.

As part of BVA’s #RespectYourVetTeam campaign, resources seeking to end the abuse of veterinary professionals can also be found here.