22 October 2021

Welcome to our October update.

This month, we provide several quick links to information about both human COVID-19 vaccination and standard animal vaccinations. This is in response recent questions we’ve received  COVID-19 protocols, and the scope of practice of allied veterinary professionals.

You may have seen the COVID-19 protection framework announced by the Government today . At this early stage, it appears that clinics will be able to operate at all three settings and the focus will be on working safely rather than placing any limitations on what types of work can be done. We also note the Government’s support of private businesses requiring vaccine certificates from visitors. We will be reviewing the rules as they become available over the next week and will issue more guidance as soon as we can.

We know that the current veterinarian shortage is putting pressure on people and clinics, so we have included details about accessing support if you or someone you know needs a helping hand. We also feature some interesting happenings around the country such as an Allied Veterinary Professionals survey, a study about salmonella outbreaks on dairy farms, and an upcoming seminar about animal welfare and winter grazing.

Veterinary shortage

We’re aware that the ongoing shortage is having a significant impact around Aotearoa. If you or someone you know is finding life tough, there is support available , and VCNZ is very happy to discuss your situation with you. For example, we encourage anyone who is struggling to meet after hours requirements to contact us.

We are working closely with NZVA and MPI to ease the situation by bringing more overseas veterinarians into the country. Unfortunately, the border closure is a national issue affecting many industries, and there is also a global shortage of veterinarians. This means there may not be a quick, short term solution. In the meantime, we all need to keep thinking about how we can operate in a sustainable way, within the current limitations, and continue to look after ourselves and our colleagues. As always, if you have ideas, we’d love to hear from you.

New advice

We have recently worked on providing answers to a number of Frequently Asked Questions, including advice about mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace and staff working across different sites. We have also compiled some advice on authorising medication dispensing between clinics and some technical advice for nurses about signing vaccination records and administering vaccinations. Please follow the links to find out more.

CPD requirements

A reminder that the new CPD rules will be compulsory from 1 January 2022. You can read more about the rules and find guidance about this on our  CPD page .

Meet VCNZ in New Plymouth

We are coming to New Plymouth in November (COVID restrictions permitting) and we’d love it if you could join us. This is a chance to meet the Council and senior staff, ask questions and share your perspective. We’ll give a brief update on VCNZ and our work and invite questions and discussion. Depending on interest, topics could include continuing professional development, mentoring, veterinary wellbeing, the shortage of veterinarians and after-hours.

This will be a great opportunity to learn more about VCNZ and our work and to have input on significant issues for the profession. The event can be counted towards your CPD and a certificate of attendance will be sent out afterwards.

Where: Millenium Hotel, 1 Egmont St, New Plymouth

When: Tuesday, 23 November 7-8:45 pm

Places will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions so get in quick. Register here.


Messages from others

The items below come from other organisations. We agree to share items that we believe may be of interest and benefit to the profession. This should not be taken as an endorsement of any particular item of brand. If you have any questions or concerns about them, contact the relevant organisation directly.

Allied Veterinary Professional Utilisation Study

Massey University is gathering information through online surveys to learn more about how Allied Veterinary Professionals (AVPs) are currently working in New Zealand veterinary teams.

This will help to explore opportunities to more effectively leverage the unique knowledge and skills of AVPs to improve the quality of care given to patients and clients. The results from the survey will be reported to the veterinary profession and used to help inform future work around better defining the roles of AVPs in clinical practice.

Separate versions of the survey have been created for different members of veterinary teams: AVPs, veterinarians, and veterinary practice managers. 

Allied Veterinary Professionals: https://massey.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3emOCca1cwPfPtc

Veterinarians: https://massey.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_ahEqD64YN4cQiF0

Practice Managers:   https://massey.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0VqCwi1CnkIzrw2

Please respond through the survey link that best describes your role. The survey will take about 20 to 30 minutes to complete and your response will remain completely anonymous. Upon completing the survey, you can choose to enter a prize draw to win one of five $200 Prezzy cards.

We also encourage you to share this survey link with your clients https://massey.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8qOVVf2nQtThZ5A

Veterinary clients can choose to enter a prize draw to win one of five $200 account credits towards veterinary care at a clinic of their choosing. The surveys will remain open until 10 December 2021.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the lead researchers Robert Sawicki  [email protected]  or Carolyn Gates  [email protected]

Massey salmonella study

In recent years, there has been an increase in diagnosed salmonellosis outbreaks on dairy cattle farms across Aotearoa.

Massey University, in collaboration with dairy industry stakeholders, is conducting a case-control study during the 2021 dairy season, to identify risk factors for Salmonellosis outbreaks in dairy cattle. Information from this study will help manage the risk of salmonellosis outbreaks and improve on-farm production, while protecting animal welfare and public health.

Massey University would like to hear from you about positive salmonella cases, which will help identify farms for the study. If you are interested in taking part, please fill out the form online at  www.massey.ac.nz/salmonella


Winter grazing seminars

Following successful seminars in Otago and Southland, AgResearch in partnership with MPI’s Primary Industry Advisory Services, is running two winter grazing seminars in Canterbury. The seminars will focus on both animal welfare and environmental science, and are aimed at farm consultants, veterinarians and rural advisers.

There will be two opportunities to attend these one-day seminars:

  • 1 November 2021 at the Landing Service in Timaru
  • 2 November 2021 at Lincoln University

Presenters will speak about winter grazing in terms of:

  • Animal welfare science
  • Environmental science
  • Animal nutrition and social licence
  • Regulatory requirements from a regional council perspective.

These seminars are designed to provide vets, farm consultants and all types of rural advisers with the up-to-date science on this topic, including the relationship between animal welfare, the environment, and winter grazing.Registration by 27 October 2021 is essential. You can register by emailing  [email protected]   Please provide any dietary requirements and which date you would prefer to attend.

Nau te rourou, naku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi