Chiles says sorry to vets over ‘offensive’ comments
Guardian columnist Adrian Chiles has issued a public apology for his ‘offensive’ and ‘damaging’ comments about hard-working vets after BVA President Anna Judson wrote to the editor of the Guardian Media Group to complain about an article he had written,
In his follow-up article ‘vets, you deserve my apologies’ he says “in my previous column, I accused veterinarians of ‘upselling’ remedies for profit, and I am sorry.” He goes on to say: “I should have made clear that almost every vet I have had the pleasure of meeting was exactly that – a pleasure to meet. Mostly not long out of veterinary school, they have been kind, patient, clever and plainly motivated by a love of, and desire to care for, animals.”
Responding to BVA’s challenge he said: “Anna Judson, president of the British Veterinary Association, wrote that my piece sought to “undermine the integrity of the veterinary profession, reducing hard-working, highly skilled people to profiteering ‘marketing zealots’ that put ‘upselling’ ahead of animal welfare,
“That honestly wasn’t my intention, but I can see that’s how it came across – and I apologise for that. She goes on to say that “this characterisation of vets and their teams is deeply offensive, extremely damaging and could not be further from the truth”. Again, point taken, as far as individual vets are concerned but what about some of the big corporations they work for? More than half of all UK practices are owned by substantial corporate entities.
“I actually feel rather sorry for young vets. It must be demoralising to go through all that training only to find yourself working for a big company that is focused, as big companies tend to be, on the bottom line. Yes, the vets are in it for the love of animals but, honestly, can the same be said of the private equity operations behind many of the providers? Of course not. They’re in it for profits. While there’s nothing wrong with profits per se, the sector plainly needs robust regulation lest corporate excess comes to rear its ugly head.”