Reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 is now in the hands of the RCVS, following an official request to develop “detailed plans” for a new veterinary service regime, according to college president Peter Jinman.
Reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (VSA) is now in the hands of the RCVS, following an official request to develop “detailed plans” for a new veterinary service regime, according to college president Peter Jinman.
Speaking at an RCVS council meeting, Mr Jinman updated colleagues on his “positive” discussions with agriculture and food minister Jim Paice on VSA reform. However, the discussions have received mixed responses from vets.
At the college’s meeting on November 4, Mr Jinman alerted members to a meeting held with Mr Paice at the end of September, during which the minister put forward the Government’s line on VSA change: that the college was encouraged to “develop detailed plans that would replace the current act”.
The RCVS president urged colleagues not to get “too enthusiastic”, given the review has not been given a specific date within the five-year parliamentary term; however, he said the regulator had started to review the VSA.
Speaking to Veterinary Times about the prospect of a VSA overhaul, Mr Jinman said: “The ball is now in our court in terms of considering the future regulation of the veterinary services team.
“It is no foregone conclusion that a new act will be forthcoming, as parliamentary time and resources within DEFRA will need to be secured, but this is the most positive indication we have had that Government is taking the protection of the public and its animals seriously, and recognising that the VSA does not meet the regulatory requirements of today.”
He added that the college would continue to work with Government to create a Legislative Reform Order (LRO) to free up the composition of the college’s disciplinary and preliminary investigation committees.
- For the full article, by reporter Emma Cooper, see this week’s Veterinary Times (Vol.40, No.45).