Companion Animal Veterinarians branch of the New Zealand Veterinary Association (CAV)

New Zealand | Full Member


Dr Helen Beattie

WSAVA Representative

Dr. Rochell Ferguson


Members: 831

P.O. Box 11-212
Manners Street
Wellington 6142
New Zealand

Tel:  +64 4 471 0484
Fax: +64 4 471 0494


CAV Overview

CAV has been in existence since the 1960’s becoming a WSAVA member in the 80’s. Membership has grown from 300 to 679 since then. The CAV newsletter was launched in 1990 and is now published quarterly. This along with quarterly e-bulletins keeps our members up-to-date with topics related to companion animal practice. We have an executive committee of 9 vets from around NZ who meet 4-5 times each year and invite guests to discuss issues relevant to companion animals at these meetings. We are active in planning and delivering quality CPD to NZ companion animal veterinarians and recently hosted the WSAVA 2013 Congress in Auckland.

CAV Annual Report to WSAVA for 2016

View the CAV Annual Report to WSAVA for 2016 here.

CAV Annual report to WSAVA for 2015


2015 List of Activities

We have had one new executive committee member join us this year – Dr John Munday, following the resignation of Dr Gill Taylor. We also appointed a new President Dr Brendon Bullen, following Cath Watson stepping down from the position that she held since 2012.

We held a successful meeting with the New Zealand Veterinary Associations Auckland regional branch in March, sponsoring Robyn Gear to speak on companion animal oncology. 

The Hills Educating the Educators Scholarship assisted Dr Geraldine Gorman and Dr Angus Fechney to travel to Monterey, California for the Veterinary Dental Forum, and Dr Duncan Graham to travel to Nashville, USA for the North American Dermatology Forum. These practitioners will share the knowledge they have gained via articles and conference reports in the CAV Newsletter in 2016.

The CAV Veterinary Refresher Scheme was run for the fourth year in NZ. This 4 module refresher scheme was also available to Australian veterinarians and attracted 30 registrations.

The Practitioner on Sabbatical scholarship was awarded this year to Dr Karina Wilde who used it to see practice with a specialist orthopaedic surgeon. This scholarship will be replaced in 2016 with a new initiative that allows a CAV member to spend a week in specialist practice called “A week with...” We have relationships with five specialists who are willing to host a CAV member and the successful candidate can choose where to spend their week.

We held 5 meetings this year – two of them online. We welcomed guests from both inside and outside the companion animal veterinary industry to give us perspectives and opinions on a number of topical issues.

We worked with World Animal Protect to improve disaster preparedness levels for pet owners. 

CAV provided media releases to support animal welfare and provide veterinary information to companion animal owners.

CAV provided technical support for the NZVA on companion animal matters, and antimicrobial resistance.

We updated the NZVA euthanasia policy on cats and dogs to provide comprehensive guidance in this area.

CAV along with the NZVA met with the Ministry of Primary Industries to provide feedback on proposed animal welfare regulations – including regulations regarding tail docking and breeding Scottish Fold cats.


CAV was represented at WSAVA 2015 by Dr David Smith.


2015 Highlights

The CAV Annual Service Award was made to Dr Sue Blaikie (previous Secretary). This award will be presented next year at our conference. 

A life membership was awarded to Dr Allan Bell for his longstanding support of the companion animal society throughout his career.

A student membership drive at the beginning of the year recruited 100 new student members. It was nice to meet with them during one of our meetings held in July at Massey University.

Sponsoring Leslie Lyons to present on feline genetics at Massey University to interested local practitioners, students and faculty staff.

Working with Trade Me (an internet auction site that trades in animals) to develop their animal welfare code to help protect the interests of vulnerable puppies and kittens that are sold online.

Creation of a paid position for a Veterinary Resource Manager to dedicate 20 hours a week to advancing the work that CAV undertakes. An appointment will be made in the near future to begin work in 2016.

Invited as a key stakeholder to a National Cat Management Strategy meeting to agree a strategic, collective approach to effective cat management in New Zealand by 2020. Discussions are ongoing.