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RCVS and BVA welcome call to add vets to Shortage Occupation List
The RCVS and BVA Submission reiterated the importance of veterinary surgeons in areas such as disease surveillance, public health and food safety.
Recommendation dubbed "a huge win for animal welfare"

The RCVS and the BVA have welcomed a recommendation by the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to add veterinary surgeons to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

Professions on the SOL are given priority for visas required to live and work in the UK. Moreover, employers wishing to hire professionals on the list are not required to complete the Resident Labour Market Test. This means they would not have to advertise vacancies locally before offering the role to somebody overseas.

Last year, the RCVS and the BVA made a submission to the MAC raising concerns about how an already-stretched veterinary workforce would cope with an increased need for some services after Brexit. It stressed that demand in areas such as export certification would likely increase and that fewer veterinary surgeons from the European Union will be joining the register.

The Submission also reiterated the importance of veterinary surgeons in areas such as disease surveillance, public health and food safety, amongst many others.

Welcoming the MAC’s response, RCVS President Amanda Boag said: “We are very pleased to see that our submission, made with our colleagues at the BVA, has been welcomed by the Committee and that this recommendation will now be going to the key decision-makers at the Home Office for consideration. While we are still unaware of how the process of the UK leaving the EU will pan out, this is a very important step in ensuring the future security of the profession and mitigating against worsening workforce shortages.
“We would reiterate to the Government that the UK is currently reliant on overseas registrants to meet the demand for veterinary surgeons, with veterinary surgeons from the rest of the EU making up around 50 per cent of new registrants each year. By adding veterinary surgeons to the Shortage Occupation List, and therefore reducing the immigration requirements needed to live and work in the UK, the Government will be helping ensure vital veterinary work continues to be done particularly in areas such as food safety and public health.”

The BVA dubbed the MAC’s response as a “huge win for animal welfare and a resounding vote of confidence in the veterinary community.”

Simon Doherty, BVA President, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the committee has heeded our calls and recognised the need to reinstate vets on the list to keep workforce supply and resilience high in the unpredictable times ahead.

“Working with our members and stakeholders, BVA has run a concerted campaign to restore vets on the list, and we are delighted that these efforts have paid off. While this is a very welcome boost, the profession itself is also doing a huge amount of work to understand and address recruitment and retention challenges both now and into the future."


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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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News Shorts
NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”