Vets '˜vital' to Scotland's £2bn agrifood industry

Scotland's £2 billion agrifood output would be severely hit without vets '“ and the role played by veterinary practitioners from across Europe in maintaining high animal welfare and food safety standards was stressed in a keynote speech last night.

About 50% of vets registered in the UK come from the rest of the EU. Picture: John Cogill/AP
About 50% of vets registered in the UK come from the rest of the EU. Picture: John Cogill/AP

Speaking at the British Veterinary Association’s annual Scottish dinner, the organisation’s president Gudrun Ravetz called on politicians and policymakers to recognise the unique role played by vets in securing the best health and welfare outcomes for Scotland’s animals.

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Addressing almost 100 guests at the Scottish Parliament, including guest speaker cabinet secretary for rural economy and connectivity Fergus Ewing, parliamentarians, key representatives from animal health and welfare organisations, and senior colleagues from across the veterinary profession, the BVA President said: “A strong veterinary workforce is vital to maintaining high animal welfare and food safety standards.”

She added: “Veterinary teams support half of all Scotland’s households, which own pets; and vets are an integral part of the international scientific community… which is being put to good use in Scotland’s world-leading veterinary schools and research institutes.”

Highlighting that approximately 50 per cent of vets currently registered to practise in the UK came from the rest of the EU, Ravetz reiterated one of BVA’s key asks for forthcoming Brexit negotiations – that the government guaranteed working rights for non-British EU vets and vet nurses currently working and studying in the UK at the existing level, and with no time limit.