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Ukraine crisis: statement of support

By 03/03/2022No Comments

RCVS President Dr Kate Richards has today issued the following statement in relation to the current crisis in Ukraine.

Ukrainian flag flying over Kyiv

In recent days we have watched the unfolding events in Ukraine in horror, shock and with tremendous sadness. We are determined to offer as much help and support as we can to our Ukrainian veterinary colleagues fleeing this crisis and seeking refuge in the UK.

Refugee vet support

After closely monitoring the UK Government’s position on granting refugee status to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we welcome the recent expansion to its ‘Ukrainian Humanitarian Route’. The Government states this will increase the number of people from Ukraine who are eligible to come to the UK to be reunited with their families.

Dr Kate Richards MRCVS, RCVS PresidentOur financial support scheme for refugees that we launched in 2020 and expanded last October is therefore immediately available for Ukrainian veterinary professionals with refugee status, but holding non-recognised qualifications, who are looking for the chance to rebuild their lives and professional careers in the UK.

In partnership with the Refugee Council and in collaboration with a number of leading UK veterinary membership organisations, this scheme:

  • enables UK-based vets with refugee status to take the RCVS Statutory Examination for Membership for free;
  • provides financial support for travel and accommodation to help them attend examinations;
  • includes free access to the RCVS Knowledge library resources; and,
  • includes free membership to the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), British Veterinary Association (BVA), British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) and Veterinary Management Group (VMG).

Anyone wishing to apply to our refugee support scheme should get in touch with Jude Bradbury, Examinations Manager, via [email protected] / +44 (0)20 70 50 50 43.

Veterinary support for displaced animals

We have made enquiries with the Ukrainian Institute and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) to see whether coordinated efforts are being planned to provide veterinary support for animals that are being brought across the Ukrainian border into neighbouring EU countries, and will publish further details if and when available.

In the meantime, the International Fund for Animal Welfare has published helpful information for people fleeing Ukraine with their pets, and Eurogroup for Animals has published a list of organisations that are raising funds to support those both in and around Ukraine who are working to protect animals caught up in the conflict.

Pet travel rules

Following calls from the FVE to facilitate transport of pet animals from Ukraine to EU countries, the European Commission has recommended that EU Members States may develop permit arrangements that would apply to pets travelling with refugees and authorise their entry without a prior individual application for a permit.

As things stand, due to the ongoing risk of rabies transmission to Great Britain, quarantine rules still apply to pet animals that are brought into England, Scotland or Wales without the usual vaccinations, documentation and microchips. However, again, we will publish any further updates if the situation changes.

RCVS investments

Having instructed our fund managers to review our investments, we can confirm that Russian-based business interests comprise less than 0.1% of our investment portfolio. Nevertheless, our Finance and Resources Committee yesterday agreed to instruct our fund managers to divest the College of these interests completely at the very earliest opportunity.

DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Finally, we note that the Disasters Emergency Committee – which coordinates 15 leading UK Aid Charities in times of crisis and large-scale disasters – has today launched its Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to raise funds to support all those forced to flee their homes.

We will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and provide further information and assistance where we can.


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