5 January 1996

Vets hit at TB test cut plans

VETS have attacked the governments planned cut in TB testing expenditure, saying it could compromise animal welfare.

Bob Young, past president of the British Veterinary Association, says MAFF has been hinting for months that it wants to allow lay people to carry out TB tests. The practice is currently restricted to vets and Mr Young insists this must not change.

"This move is Treasury-driven and is simply a cost-saving exercise. MAFF probably assumes that it can pay lay people less than it has to pay qualified vets," he says. MAFF is currently consulting the industry on its plans and will not comment until it has reviewed all the responses.

But when TB is increasing, especially in the south-west, the BVA finds it ridiculous that MAFF could even think about downgrading its test procedures. &#42

Shelley Wright