Dear Reader

I find it very hard to believe that we have reached the middle of the year already! Will June live up to its nickname and be a flaming celebration of summer, I suspect not, but least we won’t have to worry about sunburn!

I have just been looking through the first issue of the VNJ or Veterinary Nursing as it was then known and life was certainly very different 25 years ago. For a start most of the advertisers, with the exception of two, no longer exist! I also came across a reference to the number of cats and dogs that were received by Battersea Dog’s Home in 1983, a grand total of 20,048 dogs and 714 cats, which contrasts very favourably with the considerable number that are abandoned today! Whilst on the subject,

I have just logged on to view the next instalment of Charlie’s plight at Of course it is staged and Charlie is in reality probably a very well cared for member of a family by now, but the video eloquently highlights the plight of the stray animals that form part of our increasingly dysfunctional society. Each time it is played Pedigree will donate one pound to their campaign to help abandoned dogs to a total of £100,000 so go online and do your bit now!

I was also interested to see in issue one that 65 students passed the Preliminary Exam, as it was then known, and 53 passed the Final, including one Liz Branscombe, the present Chair of the RCVS Veterinary Nursing Council. Liz is also the senior editor of a new nursing journal that is being launched at the end of the summer. One sign of the increasing status of the veterinary nursing profession is the increase in interest from external organisations such as publishers and this should be seen as a very positive trend.

In common with today’s VNJ the front cover of issue one sports an image of St Frances of Assisi. How many of you know why he was chosen for this singular honour? For those who do not, a member of BVNA Council will be writing an article for submission to VNJ later on in the year but if you cannot wait you can always Google him – why is it that I’m never entirely comfortable with that phrase?

Before closing the pages of this snapshot of yesteryear I noted that BVNA Council consisted of a grand total of 18 members in contrast to today’s Council of 12 and subscriptions were £14 for qualified and £8 for student members. How has BVNA evolved since the time of issue one; I have my views but it would be very interesting to hear those of the membership. Were you a member in 1985, do you think that the BVNA is giving value for money today? Were you even born then! Let me have your views on

But enough reminiscing, this month’s issue has a feline theme with an article on the older cat from Sarah Caney and the second part of Natasha Mitchell’s series on the care of blind cats. Jody Blyth Tancock has also written a very informative review of the Health & Safety issues that must be considered when dealing with cytotoxic drugs, and I’m sure that the topic discussed in the feature on page 38 will certainly give rise to plenty of discussion at work!


Sue Badger MEd CertEd VN Executive Editor

• VOL 25 • No6 • June 2010 • Veterinary Nursing Journal