Cattle farming, vet pregnancy testing Brown Swiss dairy cow on farm© FLPA / John Eveson/REX/Shutterstock

Veterinary leaders are keeping up pressure on regulators to respond to a possible veterinary staffing crisis that could hamper UK exports after Brexit.

British Veterinary Association (BVA) president John Fishwick yesterday repeated calls for the Home Office to add veterinary surgeons to the shortage occupation list.

He said veterinary workloads could treble at a time when the profession is expecting one-third of European vets to leave the UK. 

See also: Vets warn of growing staff shortage post Brexit

Vet industry figures

  • An estimated 33% of EU vets to leave Britain
  • 95% of abattoir vets are not UK citizens
  • Exports requiring veterinary certification could increase by up to 325%

Addressing the BVA’s annual London dinner, Mr Fishwick said the volume of exports requiring certification after Brexit could rocket by 325%, while Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon estimations show one-third of European vets or vet nurses are considering leaving the UK.

He said: “To prevent an acute crisis in veterinary capacity, the BVA is urging the Home Office to add veterinary surgeons to the shortage occupation list.

“Depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, new veterinary certifications will need to be developed and supervised to ensure the continuation of smooth trade, which will require an increase in the number of specially trained official veterinarians to perform this role.”