The veterinary profession has a unique opportunity to get UK biosecurity, the role of OVs and the skill gap that might be created by Brexit debated in Parliament by persuading vet-friendly MPs to add their names to Early Day Motion (EDM) 899 tabled on 30 January.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP
Jim Fitzpatrick MP is the primary sponsor of Early Day Motion 899.

Jim Fitzpatrick, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse is the primary sponsor of the motion which commends all sectors of the veterinary profession and calls on the Government to work with the BVA and RVCS to guarantee the rights of EU colleagues already in the UK, alongside reciprocal rights for UK veterinary professionals working in the EU.

More signatures needed

Two days after the motion was tabled, it had attracted the signatures of a total of 11 MPs, but more names are needed – and that’s where veterinary professionals come in.

The exact wording of the EDM is: “This House commends the role of all sectors of the veterinary profession in the welfare of domestic pets and livestock and in maintaining public health; recognises the high level of education and training provided by UK veterinary schools and training providers for veterinary surgeons and nurses throughout the world; acknowledges the service delivered by official veterinarians in testing for Bovine TB in cattle and other activities relating to disease surveillance and animal welfare monitoring, including the inspection and authorisation of animals and animal products for export and the management of the Pet Travel Scheme; notes that each year around 50% of veterinary surgeons registering to practise in the UK are from overseas, with the vast majority coming from the EU; and calls on the Government to work with the British Veterinary Association and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to guarantee the rights of EU veterinary surgeons and nurses already living, working and studying in the UK, alongside reciprocal rights for UK veterinary professionals working in the EU.”


EDMs are used to put on record the views of individual MPs or to draw attention to specific events or campaigns. Topics covered by EDMs vary widely.

By attracting the signatures of other MPs, they can be used to demonstrate the level of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.

EDM 899 will now appear on the Order Paper and will remain live while MPs continue to add names to it.

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