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BVA urges new government to reform Vet Surgeons Act
The BVA wants to see the new government press ahead with animal welfare legislation dropped as part of the abandoned Kept Animals Bill.
The act is “woefully outdated” says BVA president.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has urged the new UK government to reform the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

The organisation wants to see the old act replaced with new primary legislation that modernises the regulatory framework for the veterinary profession.

In its own election manifesto, the BVA described the current law as ‘designed for a different era’. It wants the reforms to include the regulation of veterinary practices, legal protection for the title of veterinary nurse, and recognition of the wider veterinary team.

Following the election, which saw Labour replace the Conservatives as the governing party, the BVA has also welcomed Labour's manifesto commitments to prioritise the highest animal welfare standards in international trade deals, promote greater environmental sustainability, and negotiate a veterinary agreement with the EU to reduce border checks.

Anna Judson, BVA president, said: “The new government faces many pressing issues as it takes the keys to Number 10 and whilst we look forward to seeing more detail around its manifesto commitments in relation to animal welfare standards and cooperation with the EU, the veterinary profession is critical to delivering many of these promises and therefore it’s essential the new government quickly turns its attention to reforming the woefully outdated Veterinary Surgeons Act, or risk falling at the first hurdle.”

As well as reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, the BVA is calling on the new government to tackle animal welfare issues that were left unresolved after the previous government dropped its Kept Animals Bill.

The BVA also wants to see the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 overhauled, so that the breed specific legislation is replaced with a focus on responsible breeding and ownership. It also wants to see a deal reached to secure permanent access to veterinary medicines in Northern Ireland.

Dr Judson added: “In its manifesto, the new government has committed to action on several key animal welfare issues which is good news and the British Veterinary Association stands ready to work with officials to get the detail right.

“Alongside these, we also urge the government to press ahead with legislation which would have been delivered as part of the abandoned Kept Animals Bill like stricter pet import measures, including mandatory pre-import testing to minimise the spread of infections like Brucella canis.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.