Government cutbacks undermine disease control, warn vets

Cutbacks are undermining the government’s ability to control disease, according to the president of the British Veterinary Association.

In his speech to the BVA congress in Glasgow on 25 September Bill Reilly (pictured) said the government’s ability to deliver TB tests, anthrax enquiries and other vital functions, was being eroded.

Prof Reilly said the BVA’s negotiations with government had been critical following Animal Health’s announcement that Official Veterinarians would be selected through a tendering process.

“Veterinary practitioners are the eyes and ears of veterinary surveillance and other vital functions and provide the crucial support in times of disease challenge.

“Any change to the way we fund and deliver OV services must ensure this is not lost,” he warned.

Prof Reilly emphasised that the BVA’s role had been to ensure the voice of OVs had been heard loud and clear by those drawing up the process.

He added: “We cannot stop the move towards tendering but we can pull out all the stops to reduce the impact on the provision of veterinary services.”

Picture: British Veterinary Association