11 June 2001
Vets fear job losses from virus

By FWi staff

VETS with large animal practices in the worst-affected foot-and-mouth areas fear could lose the jobs because so many animals have been killed.

Research by BBC 1s Countryfile found that many vets fear redundancies are inevitable after the slaughter of more than 3 million farm animals.

Matt Coulston, of Frame Swift and Partners, told the programme: “Colleagues of mine in other practices have lost 90% of their farm animals”

“Unless there is some significant restocking in the near future they are going to be struggling through the winter.”

The Royal Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said it was concerned that a reduction in the number of vets would compromise welfare.

Dr Martin Potter, head of the farm animal department for the RSPCA, said it could result in animals suffering inadvertently, which was unnecessary.

“I have been speaking to a number of vets directly involved in the foot-and-mouth cull and they have been shocked at the level of sheep scab, for example, prevalent in the national flock,” he said.

The RSPCA is calling for a new inspection system to be introduced for all farm premises.

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