The BVA has welcomed recommendations of a new report on responsibility and cost sharing, which include the formation of a new “partnership board” to become the sole source of departmental advice to DEFRA ministers.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed recommendations of a new report on responsibility and cost sharing (RCS), which include the formation of a new “partnership board” to become the sole source of departmental advice to DEFRA ministers.
The report is the work of the independent RCS advisory group, which was established in 2009 to advise the secretary of state on how best to realise partnership working within the RCS agenda in England. Full details of the purpose of the group can be found here.
The group has now published a final report, detailing the findings of its work. Recommendations set out within the report include:
- A new partnership board made up of DEFRA officials and external members from industry, other kept animal sectors and other stakeholders with an interest in animal health and welfare and public health;
- No calls for an arms-length body;
- Keeping responsibility for animal health and animal welfare policy together under the new Partnership Board;
- A solution that covers all kept animals (not just livestock);
- The rejection of the idea of a general “animal disease” levy;
- A staged approach towards cost sharing, with responsibility sharing to be firmly established before cost sharing can be discussed.
BVA president Harvey Locke said: “The headlines from the advisory committee’s report suggest a real common sense approach to the difficult issue of responsibility and cost sharing.
“When the previous Government consulted on its plans and the draft Animal Health Bill the veterinary profession was not alone in its condemnation of the idea to separate animal health and welfare policy. We are therefore very pleased to see that the advisory group – made up of a wide range of stakeholders – has rejected that idea.
“The BVA is also supportive of a strong voice for industry and the veterinary profession in policy making, as well as proposals that do not exclude any kept animals.
“We hope that the new DEFRA ministers will pay a great deal of attention to this report, especially the underlying message that responsibility and cost sharing must reduce the risk and cost of animal disease and improve the welfare of kept animals.”