Farm vets are far less likely to be intimidated by the language or behaviour of their clients than vets who work in the companion animal sector, according to a new study from the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
The research showed 54.8 per cent of vets working with pets had felt intimated by their clients, compared to 34 per cent of farm vets.
But women and young people who worked as farm vets were more likely to bear the brunt of clients’ aggression than those working with pets.
3.3 per cent of companion animal vets said women were subjected to poor behaviour, compared to 10.3 per cent of farm vets.
BVA president John Fishwick said: “It is concerning to see such a high level of intimidation from clients towards veterinary teams.
“Every experience is different and people deal with them in different ways, but what is really important is raising awareness of this serious issue across the board and for veterinary teams to work closely together to make sure there are coping strategies in place.”
The study also showed farm vets believed their clients were more likely to use bad language because of stress (13.8 per cent) or a bleak prognosis for a sick animal (13.8 per cent) than because of the size of the vet bill (6.9 per cent).
Companion animal vets said they were given abuse because of the cost of treatment 35.3 per cent of the time, but pet owners were less likely to put pressure on vets to find cheaper solutions than farmers.