The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has raised serious concerns regarding an article in the Guardian penned by Adrian Chiles.

BVA’s President, Anna Judson, addressed the Editor of the Guardian Media Group expressing dismay over the article’s attempt to “undermine the veterinary profession’s integrity” and cast doubt on the dedication of hard-working vet teams.

British Veterinary Association Reacts

Anna Judson, with over three decades of experience as a vet and as the President of BVA representing more than 19,000 members, expressed deep concern over Chiles’s recent column titled “What have I learned after three years of dog ownership? Beware of vet bills“. She highlighted how the article tries to diminish the veterinary profession, portraying highly skilled professionals as profit-focused “marketing zealots” prioritising “upselling” over animal welfare.

Judson vehemently opposed this characterisation, asserting that it is deeply offensive, damaging, and far removed from the truth. She emphasised that vets are fundamentally driven by a deep care for animal welfare, a motivation that often leads individuals into this demanding profession.

Fair Representation

“The UK needs more vets,” Judson said. “There has been an unprecedented boom in pet ownership since the pandemic and alongside companion animal care, vets play an integral role in the UK’s farming sectors, imports and exports, as well as public health. It is therefore vital that we can continue to encourage young people to enter the profession but articles like Mr. Chiles’s only serve to push them away, fearing unfair scrutiny.

“I understand that a trip to the vets can be costly but sadly there are no NHS subsidies for animals. However, from my experience vets are pragmatists and will always work with a client to find a treatment plan that is right for them and their animal.”
Expressing disappointment as a long-time Guardian reader, Judson urged the Guardian to “remember the people behind these stories and the very real impacts articles like these can have”.