DEFRA HAS advertised for a chief executive to head up the State Veterinary Service from April 2005.

The move signals that DEFRA is pressing ahead with changing the service from a core DEFRA unit to an executive agency.

The advertisement, offering a salary of up to £100,000 to the successful applicant, appears in this week‘s (w/e May 7)  Veterinary Record.

But the journal raises concerns at the separation of the SVS and refers to a stated aim of DEFRA‘s overall strategy.

This is to “meet the government‘s renewed desire to find efficiencies as well as effectiveness in delivery”.

The journal warns that the budgetary pressures applied to other agencies must not be allowed to damage the delivery of veterinary services.

The SVS operates from 24 offices across England, Scotland and Wales.