The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has today (Friday, December 2) launched a guide to help practices deal with the impact of abusive online reviews from clients.

How to manage unfair and abusive reviews online was developed for BVA members after Voice of the Veterinary Profession (autumn 2021) statistics revealed the one in two vets working in clinical practice had recently experienced online abuse, with unfair reviews the most common type reported (90%).

Voices of the Veterinary Profession, which polled 704 vets, also found that 6% of vets had experienced abusive language, 33% had experienced trolling and 31% had experienced online harassment.

“The vast majority of clients are hugely appreciative of the care they receive from their vet teams, resulting in thousands of positive reviews every year,” BVA president Malcolm Morley said.

“While we recognise not every client will have a positive experience and may wish to provide critical feedback, a small number are posting deliberately abusive or unfair reviews.

“This is unacceptable and can have a hugely negative impact on individual veterinary professionals and the wider team.

“Protecting the wellbeing of veterinary teams remains a top priority for BVA and this new resource will help vet teams to take practical steps to limit the impact of this type of abuse.”

The guide, developed in association with Vets Digital, will be added to the BVA’s ‘Respect Your Vet Team’ toolkit, which includes other resources to help vets deal with online abuse.

BVA resources

The BVA also recently backed the launch a new resource to inspire secondary school-aged pupils to consider a career in the veterinary profession.

‘Vet Team in a Box’, which is sponsored by ManyPets pet insurance, was designed in-line with National Curriculum key stage 3 science, and will see students participate in ‘real-life’ veterinary scenarios.

It was showcased at the London Vet Show on November 17 and 18, shortly after which it become available to schools.

Overall, the project aims to demystify the veterinary professions and some of the perceived barriers to joining it for both young people and their advisors.