A joint letter has been sent to the Prime Minister by the RCVS and the BVA highlighting concerns about how Brexit is impacting the veterinary profession.
The letter outlines how the two organisations want to work with the Government to ensure the best possible outcome for animal health and welfare, public health and the veterinary profession post-Brexit.
It also voices concern perceptions of “anti-foreigner” rhetoric may already be having an impact on the veterinary workforce.
Signed by both RCVS president Chris Tufnell and BVA president Gudrun Ravetz, the letter also outlines the importance of EU vets to the UK: “The UK veterinary profession is made up of more than 26,000 veterinary surgeons and more than 11,000 veterinary nurses, working to improve the health and welfare of animals, to monitor and control the spread of diseases, and to assure the safety of the food we eat.
“Each year around 50% of veterinary surgeons registering to practise in the UK are from overseas, with the vast majority coming from the EU. EU veterinary surgeons make a particularly strong contribution to public health critical roles such as working in the Government Veterinary Services.
“In the meat hygiene sector some estimates suggest 95% of veterinary surgeons graduated overseas. Consequently, Brexit and accompanying changes to the mutual recognition system or immigration restrictions could have a profound impact upon the veterinary workforce.”
For reaction to the full letter see next week’s Veterinary Times (VT46.43).