The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has written to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) asking for urgent clarification on the Government’s timetable to announce the results of the tender to deliver official veterinarian (OV) services.
Cattle vet and president of the BVA John Blackwell said: “BVA argued strongly against the move towards tendering for OV services, reflecting member concerns about how tenders awarded to companies outside a local practice area could affect the critical relationship between local vets and their farming clients, as well as the impact on rural practices.
“While the tendering process went ahead, BVA secured some reassurances in the invitation to tender in relation to the requirement for a range of delivery partners throughout the geographical lots devolving work to local practices.
“BVA’s position and member concerns have not altered and we will follow the outcomes of the tender very closely, continuing to argue for local veterinary expertise at the point of delivery, which is so important for disease prevention and detection.
“We were expecting the announcement of the tender results earlier this month so it is critical APHA now sets out a clear timetable for the announcement and next steps. Vets who will be affected by the outcome need this information to be able to plan and work with their farmer clients and delivery partners to ensure herds across the UK have the best disease detection and prevention plans in place.”