Kia ora

Welcome to our December pānui for veterinarians. In our final edition for the year, we share an update on the phenobarbitone shortage, and information about Vets on Farm - an initiative we are leading with North Island veterinarians to help farmers ensure their animals are healthy and disease free following Cyclone Gabrielle and this year’s flooding events. We also offer a reminder about labelling RVMs, following Racing Integrity Board audits around Aotearoa.

Some new guidance for veterinarians prescribing human medication to animal patients has recently been published on The Hub, which we encourage you to read. We have also shared a brief update on our AMR strategy and the emergency/after hours care provision review. Our monthly case study is about the Vet Council’s process for healthcare, which helps to make sure registered vets are fit to practice.

With the festive season just around the corner, our Christmas and New Year close down dates have been added to round things off for the year.

Meri kirihimete to you and your loved ones from the Vet Council team.

Phenobarbitone supply issue

Due to the closure of a New Zealand manufacturer, veterinary access to phenobarbitone has been limited, leading to concern for patients that require life-long treatment with the drug.

New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) has recently issued a new alert to update veterinarians on the situation.

Read more

Vets on Farm – supporting your recovery

Veterinary services to support farmers in the North Island recovering from flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle will be provided through a new programme facilitated by the Veterinary Council of New Zealand.

The initiative, Vets on Farm - supporting your recovery, has received $2.6 million from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to fund local veterinarians to provide on-farm advice and support.

Read more

Animal Emergency? Think P.E.T

The New Zealand Veterinary Association Te Pae Kīrehe is seeking the support of all veterinarians to promote a new emergency care campaign.

Animal Emergency? Think P.E.T has been launched ahead of the summer holidays, with the aim of reducing the number of animals presenting at emergency service providers who do not require emergency care. The overall objective is to help improve the sustainability of emergency service provision for veterinary teams.

Read more

Veterinarian responsibilities around RVM labelling

The Racing Integrity Board (RIB) is currently performing thoroughbred and harness racing stable and greyhound kennel audits around the country, which have raised concerns about the labelling of dispensed restricted veterinary medicines (RVMs) and prescription only medicines.

Read more

Guidance for prescribing human medication for animals

We have recently published a new piece of guidance on The Hub to provide greater clarity around the supply periods for veterinarians prescribing human medication for animals. It also includes information about adding repeats for controlled drugs to a script.

Read more

Update on AMR and after hours work

In our October pānui, we included an article about the work the Vet Council is doing to both develop a new antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy (more info), and review current emergency/after hours care provision by veterinarians (more info).

We wanted to let you know this work is continuing, and we look forward to sharing more information about these pieces of work early next year, along with how you can be involved and have a say.

Case study: Health process

Case studies demonstrate how complaints and other concerns are managed, and what the profession can learn from them. They are a regular feature of this pānui. Please let us know if there are specific issues you would like us to cover.

This month’s case study focuses on a slightly different part of the Vet Council’s fitness to practice process. It involves a veterinarian who worked through a health process after declaring their bipolar disorder diagnosis when applying for registration.

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Resource for lifestyle blocks

MPI has published a new resource to help lifestyle or small block owners prepare for a hot dry summer. The brochure has been designed to advise people about the actions they can take before and during El Nino to mitigate the impacts of the weather on their animals.

Please feel free to share this with your networks, on social media or in one of your upcoming newsletters.

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Holiday office hours

VCNZ’s offices will be closed from Friday 22 December 2023 until Monday 8 January 2024 for the holiday season.

If you need to submit an Annual Practicing Certificate or registration application, or if you have a letter of good standing request, please make sure these are sent as soon as possible, so they can be processed in time. 

We wish you and your whānau a safe and happy Christmas and New Year!

Thank you

We hope you found this newsletter interesting and informative. If you’d like to provide feedback or send us a topic or story for next time, please email [email protected]

Please also contact us if you have any questions or need support.