There is an acute shortage of registered veterinary nurses in Sweden. This professional category was established and regulated before any trained staff were available, and the requirement has grown far beyond the numbers of trained nurses that the educational system will be able to produce in the foreseeable future.
Other than vets and veterinary nurses, no staff working within veterinary care are permitted to administer any treatment to animals. However, for several years there has been a legal exception to this so called “treatment ban”, to enable animal healthcare to function at all. To ensure a lasting solution, legislation needs to change so that certain simple treatments can be carried out by trained lay staff, under supervision from a veterinary nurse. There is a broad consensus about this issue within the veterinary healthcare sector and among educational providers and representatives for veterinary care staff.
The prevailing situation jeopardises quality, safety and the veterinary care working environment. To promote the issue of change successfully with regard to competent authorities and the government, knowledge of the legal provisions is required. The Foundation has therefore funded a detailed judicial inquiry into the current legislation. This is intended to form a basis for information and representations to authorities, ministries and other decision-influencing parties within politics, from different stakeholders in veterinary care.