Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border and the only Veterinary Surgeon in the House of Commons, invited representatives from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and British Veterinary Association (BVA) to inform MPs on the pressing veterinary and animal health issues of the day.
Focusing on a host of issues including veterinary workforce shortages, outdated legislation and animal health and welfare problems; the event was well attended by Members of Parliament from all the major political parties who were keen to meet the veterinary sector.
Discussions included animal health and welfare issues and around the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 which largely legislates for the sector as a whole. In almost 60 years since the act was passed, many changes have taken place in veterinary medicine and while the Act has been amended to account for these many professionals feel it is too outdated and new primary legislation is required.
New legislation would increase regulation of the Veterinary industry, thus boosting animal health and welfare through enhanced accountability.
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said:
“As the only vet in the Commons it is an immense privilege to shine a light on the veterinary sector and the pressing animal health and welfare issues of the day”.
“I fully support the RCVS and BVA’s calls to address veterinary workforce shortage issues and to overhaul the Veterinary Surgeons Act. Much has changed in the 60 years since it was passed, and we need modern laws that reflect this.
“I thank all the parliamentarians from across the political spectrum who kindly took time out of their busy schedules to meet with veterinary experts and discuss such pressing issues.”
President of the BVA, Malcom Morley, said:
"It was great to be at the joint event. Thanks to Neil Hudson for hosting. Our profession requires legislative reform to effectively work with an Act that is no longer fit for purpose."
President of the RCVS Melissa Donald, said:
"As President of the RCVS I was delighted to host an event in Parliament this afternoon, jointly with my counterpart Malcolm Morley, President of the British Veterinary Association.
“We had the opportunity to speak to a wide range of MPs to explain the significant problems caused by the current shortage of veterinary surgeons, and the need for government support to remedy the shortage, for example, by providing additional funding to boost the number of UK graduates.
“We also stressed the need for new, modernised legislation that will allow vets to make better use of the vet-led team to replace the very outdated Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 which currently provides the legislative framework for the professions.”