Vet practices are staying open to focus on emergency care and urgent treatment for animals while reducing face-to-face contact between staff and clients in the wake of restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.

For emergencies involving farm animals, the advice from the the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to vets is:

• Maintain a physical distance of 2m at all times

• In cases where clients are self-isolating or confirmed to have Covid-19 a second member of practice staff should attend to ensure your health and safety. Contact with the client should be by telephone only

• Cleanse all surfaces in your car on leaving the farm

• Do not enter the farmhouse for any reason

The BVA has advised that veterinary practices can be considered essential services under the new measures, as we deliver emergency care and work to maintain the food supply chain.

However, in the interests of safety and complying with government advice, vet practices should only be delivering emergency treatment and urgent care and should be cancelling routine and non-urgent appointments.

Animal owners should contact their veterinary practice for advice.

Vets are also insisting that animal owners comply with strict social distancing measures in order to keep clients and colleagues safe.

For animal owners, this will include calling the practice ahead of time for advice and may mean waiting outside while your animal is seen and treated. Owners must avoid contact and keep at least two metres apart from other people at all times.

Daniella Dos Santos, BVA president, said: “It’s incumbent on all of us do everything we can to curb the spread of Covid-19 and follow the government’s #StayHomeSaveLives instructions.

"For vets, that means limiting our provision to emergency and urgent care and working to maintain food production from farm to fork.

“Practices are following strict social distancing measures and asking owners to make sure they follow the same steps in the interests of everyone’s safety. Please call your vet before attending a practice to get up to date advice on what measures they have in place to safely treat your pet in an emergency."