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Legislation to allow RCVS to recognise European veterinary degrees
“These changes do not affect those already registered to practise veterinary surgery in the United Kingdom" - Lord Gardiner of Kimble.
College to continue to register vets from the European Economic Area 

The House of Lords has passed a Statutory Instrument (SI) that will allow the RCVS to continue to register veterinary surgeons from the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit.

The move follows a debate of the Veterinary Surgeons and Animal Welfare (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, introduced by the secretary for rural affairs and biodiversity, Lord Gardiner of Kimble.

It means that after Britain leaves the European Union, the RCVS will be allowed to introduce the Statutory Examination for Membership for EEA and Swiss nationals where they hold a degree that does not meet RCVS educational requirements and standards.

Under the existing Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive, EEA and Swiss nationals with a veterinary degree can automatically join the Register without further assessment. Currently, the Statutory Examination for Membership is only taken by prospective registrants from outside the EEA who hold a qualification that the RCVS does not recognise.

Explaining the amendment, Lord Gardiner said: “If the RCVS is satisfied that the degree the applicant holds meets this requirement and is equivalent to one from a UK veterinary school, there is no further assessment of their skill and knowledge. The Royal College estimates that a large majority of applicants from the EEA will meet this requirement.”

“If the applicant does not hold such a degree, they must undertake and pass a professional examination administered by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. This would help ensure consistency of approach to the regulation of veterinary standards in the future.”

He continued: “These changes do not affect those already registered to practise veterinary surgery in the United Kingdom. Transitional arrangements also ensure that those who are in the process of registering with the RCVS on exit day are entitled to have their application considered under the current rules.”

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RSPCA braced for ‘hectic hedgehog month’

News Story 1
 The RSPCA says that it is bracing itself for a ‘hectic hedgehog month’ after calls to the charity about the creatures peaked this time last year.

More than 10,000 calls about hedgehogs were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2018, 1,867 of which were in July. This compares with just 133 calls received in February of the same year.

Evie Button, the RSPCA’s scientific officer, said: “July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.” 

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A sample of these were tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, resulting in the detection of African swine fever DNA fragments.

DAERA said that while the discovery does not pose a significant threat to Northern Ireland’s animal health status, it underlines the importance of controls placed on personal imports of meat and dairy products. Holidaymakers travelling overseas are being reminded not to bring any animal or plant products back home.