This month’s Vet Futures guest blog asks if charging VAT is a barrier to owners registering their pets with a veterinary surgery.
To tie in with the blog, Vet Futures is asking members of the profession whether VAT should be removed from veterinary fees.
In the blog post, Sunday Express small animal columnist and campaigner to end VAT on pet fees Stuart Winter, argues that owning a pet is not a luxury to be taxed when they need medical intervention and owning a companion animal improves the health and well-being of its owner.
He writes that removing VAT on veterinary fees for domestic animals, or at least reducing it to five pence in the pound, would improve the nation’s animal welfare.
It would allow low-income families to seek medical attention earlier, he argues, while allowing more owners to afford and take out pet insurance.
He says shifting Government thinking on the subject might be a Herculean task, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t campaign for its removal.
“No chancellor delights in losing revenue,” he said. “Treating, curing and caring for sick and injured animals is nothing more than a service and services are ripe to be harvested.
“It is time for a counter argument. Pet ownership is not a luxury. It is more than a privilege. Is it not a human right? Welcoming animals into our lives makes our lives more fulfilled and more civilized.”
This month’s Vet Futures poll asks: Would you agree VAT should no longer be levelled on vet fees?
Members of the veterinary team and the public are encouraged to take part in the poll, with the aim of generating debate on the issue of VAT and better understanding the full consequences if it was removed.
January’s poll asked members of the profession if they could recognise the signs of mental ill-health in a colleague. Just more than half (58%) of the 65 respondents said they would be able to recognise the signs.
To read Mr Winter’s blog and contribute to the discussion visit www.vetfutures.org.uk