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Vets reinstated on the Shortage Occupation List
About 95 per cent of vets carrying out critical public health work and animal welfare monitoring in abattoirs come from overseas - predominantly the EU.

Decision is a ‘huge win’ for animal welfare, says BVA

The Home Office has announced that vets will be reinstated on the Shortage Occupation List, following a long and sustained campaign by veterinary organisations.

In a written statement earlier this week, Sajid Javid, who was Home Secretary at the time, said the government was accepting the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

The BVA, working with the RCVS and Defra, ran a campaign to restore vets to the list, amid concerns that an already stretched veterinary workforce may struggle to cope with increased demand for some of its services after Brexit.

About 95 per cent of vets carrying out critical public health work and animal welfare monitoring in abattoirs come from overseas - predominantly the EU.

Both the BVA and the RCVS raised concerns that an existing shortfall in the profession could be made worse after Brexit. The BVA has also warned that demand for veterinary certification and health trading services could see a dramatic increase if we leave the EU without a deal.

The concerns were laid out to the MAC in a submission produced jointly by the BVA and the RCVS. Defra supported the recommendation in a separate submission to the committee.

BVA president Simon Doherty said the decision is a “huge win for animal welfare and a resounding vote of confidence in the veterinary community”.

He added: “This decisive move by the Government will make it easier to recruit into the profession and we now look forward to working with the new Defra Secretary of State Theresa Villiers to ensure we have a flexible, skilled and robust veterinary workforce that meets the UK’s needs for both the immediate future and in the longer term.

“Alongside this welcome boost, the profession itself will continue to undertake work to understand and address recruitment and retention challenges both now and into the future.”

RCVS president Niall Connell said he was "delighted" that the MAC's proposals had been accepted.

“Both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) worked together to ensure this outcome, which will see a lowering of the immigration barriers, for example, in terms of visa requirements, for overseas veterinary surgeons who wish to live and work in the UK.

“We also considered this a vital piece of preparation for the UK leaving the EU, as around half of those registering as veterinary surgeons with the RCVS in a given year are non-UK EU nationals and we would not want to see this vital supply of veterinary talent immediately dry up should ‘freedom of movement’ end when the UK leaves the EU."

The necessary amendments will be made in the Autumn Immigration Rules changes.

 

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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for three months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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News Shorts
LOVE Gorgie Farm seeking veterinary volunteers

LOVE Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is looking for people with veterinary and animal care experience, who would be interested in volunteering to help care for its animals during these difficult times.

The community-owned charity farm opened to the public only last month, but decided to close temporarily amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its three-person team is working to care for the animals behind the scenes and the farm is now operating as a food bank for the public, delivering free breakfasts to local school children.

In an effort to build a contingency plan to secure the welfare of its animals, LOVE Gorgie Farm is looking for volunteers who would be able to step in if any team members fell sick or needed to self-isolate.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact gorgie@l-o-v-e.org.uk