Veterinary Medicine: Vacancies

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 5th April 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Masham of Ilton Baroness Masham of Ilton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to encourage veterinary surgeons to work in the UK to ensure that there is adequate cover for (1) animal welfare, and (2) public health.

Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is working with the veterinary profession, including the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, to help ensure that there will be an adequate number of vets across all sectors of the veterinary profession.

Defra, alongside the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association, was successful in campaigning for the addition of the veterinary profession to the Shortage Occupation List by the Home Office in September 2019. This enabled employers to recruit overseas veterinary surgeons more easily. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons continues to accept the vast majority of European veterinary degrees as well as maintaining mutual recognition agreements with many English-speaking countries that allow automatic registration for overseas vets.

Defra is also strongly considering proposals from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to increase the range of activities that can be delegated to allied professionals who work with animals to ease the pressure on the workload of the practising vet.

We are also looking forward to an increase in UK-trained vets thanks to several new veterinary schools opening across the UK. These include Surrey University, which saw its first cohort graduate in 2019, Harper Adams and Keele University, the University of Central Lancashire, Scottish Rural College and a collaboration between Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College. The increase in veterinary schools will lead to an increase in UK-trained vets graduating in the longer term.

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