British vets launch LGBT group

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The British Vets Association is backing a new initiative supporting LGBT colleagues in the veterinary professions.

BVLGBT will aim to provide a support network promoting fairness and equality, according to Politics Home.

The group was started by vet Mat Hennessey after he noticed a medics banner at this year’s LGBT London Pride parade.

He said it made him realise that there was a need for representation and support for the LGBT community amongst vets.

‘BVLGBT’ is open to anyone who wants to support LGBT rights within the veterinary professions – whether studying or working – and has already gained over 300 members.

“Seeing that banner brought to the fore something that I had been aware of for some time,” Mr Hennessey said.

“The need for a visible and supportive community for veterinary professionals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and the colleagues who want to support us and promote equality.

Mr Hennessey said that he hopes to see the BVLGBT take part in Pride in London 2016.

He also said that although those that worked in the profession were a “supportive bunch”, the culture had remained “closed” for LGBT vets.

“The nature of veterinary work also means that vets can be located in remote, rural regions, without an LGBT community to plug into and this can be a very lonely and isolating experience,” he added.

“BVLGBT wants to engage with all colleagues who could benefit from the group and we are particularly keen to reach out to vets working in those rural areas without an LGBT community to feel part of. We are here for you.”

John Blackwell BVA President added his backing, saying:“This is a forward thinking and much needed initiative and one that BVA is proud to support.

“Veterinary surgeons and our veterinary nurse colleagues work within a close-knit community whether it is practice based or otherwise and the formation of BVLGBT sends a clear message out that the veterinary professions and organisations such as BVA welcome diversity and will fight for equality.

“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our LGBT colleagues and look forward to marching with them at Pride in London in June 2016, having achieved much in the coming year.”