The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has warmly welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that they plan to fund training for new Official Veterinarians (OVs) covering Essential Skills, Statutory Surveillance, and Tuberculosis Testing.
Official Veterinarians carry out essential roles ensuring food safety, safeguarding animal welfare in abattoirs and enabling the UK’s trade in animal products. Official Veterinarians across the UK have their training supplied by a private provider requiring a registration fee and undertake additional paid for training modules, depending on the area that they wish to work.
Today’s announcement represents the second round of financial support for Official Veterinarians from the Scottish Government. The first followed discussions between the Scottish Government, BVA Scottish Branch, Highlands and Islands Veterinary Services Scheme (HIVSS) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), and since then support for OVs has remained high on the agenda.
BVA President, Simon Doherty said: “We are delighted with today’s announcement that the Scottish Government will be funding revalidation essential skills training as well as offering funding for new Official Veterinarians in Scotland.
“Official Veterinarians’ work in safeguarding animal health and welfare and ensuring food safety is invaluable. This announcement has come at a crucial time, with Brexit and an uncertain future ahead, the role of OVs will be more important than ever in enabling the UK’s trade in animal products.
“Although cost alone is not the main barrier to training, the Scottish Government should be applauded in their efforts to recognise the value of Official Veterinarians.”