Veterinary Services: Ombudsman

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th April 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of creating (a) an independent veterinary ombudsman and (b) a pet owner's charter.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

The Royal College of Veterinary Services (RCVS) is responsible for investigating any concerns about veterinary surgeons and registered veterinary nurses. The Government is not aware that there is any reason to replace the RCVS with an alternative body.

In terms of a pet owner’s charter, there are already statutory Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs, Cats, Horses and Primates made under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which provide owners and keepers with information on how to meet the welfare needs of these animals. We also advise anyone thinking of buying a puppy or kitten to take certain precautions, including checking whether the breeder is signed up to the Puppy Contract or meets the Kitten Check-List criteria which were developed by the Canine and Feline Sector Group (a group of animal welfare, veterinary, local authority and pet industry organisations). Prospective buyers can also check whether the breeder is licensed by the local authority by checking the licence number on any advertisement, which is a requirement of the new regulations on dog breeding.

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