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 RCVS and BVA said it wants to ensure the best possible outcome for the veterinary profession post-Brexit. IMAGE: Fredex / fotolia.

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.

Anti-foreigner rhetoric

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.

Profound impact

“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).

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Vet Times
4 days 11 hours ago
For reference, the full letter reads as follows: Dear Prime Minister, Like all professions and sectors, we are currently involved in detailed debates regarding how Brexit is likely to affect our members and how we can best harness the opportunities it may present. We are very keen to work with the government to make a success of Brexit within our sector. The veterinary profession plays a crucial role in protecting public health, relies heavily on EU graduates and is already feeling the impact of the EU referendum. The UK veterinary profession is made up of over 26,000 veterinary surgeons and… Read more »

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