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The OVForm Story

I was confronted with my first Animal Health Certificate (AHC) early in 2021. Along with the stresses of lockdown, we were busier that we had ever imagined thanks to the upsurge of pet ownership – and of course we were also short-staffed! I felt burnt out and exhausted. Then we all learned that pet passports were a thing of the past, and the lengthy pages of the new AHC were here to stay.

So… we have to do one of these every time a pet travels to the EU?
And we have to fill out the entire thing, every time?
And it has to be signed and stamped by an OV?

I felt a little ill as I saw lunch breaks, evenings and weekends disappear into the sunset. I’m sure we can all agree that patients needing treatment are our top priority – we have a duty of care, and they can’t play second fiddle to Spot’s holiday in Spain – so AHCs seemed destined to be a regular after-hours headache.

A better plan…

The AHC a very long document, and checking all those details is tricky – especially on a busy day between other urgent jobs – but it is absolutely essential. Even one incorrect letter, word or date can make the entire document invalid, resulting in unhappy clients who are delayed at the border and often face extra costs too.

We are all human, and that is a lot of pressure.

That’s when I brought in a software- and web-development team, and said surely there must be a way to complete AHCs online, using computer logic to do the heavy lifting, and make the entire process quicker, more accurate, and more pleasant for everyone involved.

It took a lot of work, carefully examining every detail and requirement, and building in formatting and checks at every stage to ensure that the correct information goes where it’s needed.

Apparently, PDFs are the “devil’s work” for coders, but the result has exceeded all expectations, with AHCs taking considerably less time and little to no aggravation.

I use the time I save to get back to the jobs I love, knowing that AHCs won’t upset my day.

I can’t wait for vets to try OVForm, and we want to continue to develop the system based on your valuable feedback. Please let us know how you found it, and what you’re doing with the time you save.

OV and OVForm Founder

OVForm Team

Mary-Anne: Founder; OV since 2006

Mary-Anne is a vet in London. She has two young children and currently works part time in small animal practice. She qualified in 2004 and has been registered as an OV in the UK since 2006. In her spare time (which she now has plenty of!) Mary-Anne enjoys keeping bees and brewing wine from foraged berries.

Stephen: Web Developer

Stephen has a background in design and began working as a web developer in 2009. With experience covering a range of professional and corporate websites, he optimises each user interface and experience for simple, enjoyable interactions every time.

Richard: Software Developer

Richard has over 20 years’ experience in the world of software development, writing code for complex systems across many specialised fields. He is a fan of elegant solutions and optimised processes, as well as electronics, 3D printing, and home DIY projects.