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Disappointment At Lack Of Veterinary Involvement In Scottish Expert Forum

14 years ago
2429 views

Posted
6th July, 2010 00h00


The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has expressed its disappointment at the decision not to include veterinary input into the group convened to look at responsibility and cost sharing in Scotland. The Scottish Government has announced that the composition of the Expert Forum will include representatives from the farming community (NFUS and Crofters Commission), the meat industry (Scottish Beef Cattle Association and National Sheep Association), animal health research (Moredun Foundation), and animal health economics (Scottish Agricultural College). A similar body set up to investigate responsibility and cost sharing in England includes a veterinary representative (BVA President Professor Bill Reilly) and a consumer representative to work alongside the industry and government representatives to provide their very particular and important viewpoints. The decision by the Scottish Government to exclude veterinary input from the group comes despite Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead’s comment at the BVA annual Scottish dinner in June that vets have an important role to play in responsibility and cost sharing. He said: “Mr President mentioned going down to attend a meeting of the Responsibility and Cost Sharing Group tomorrow and I hope he will bring his influence to bear. And I believe vets have a major role in all of this. You are after all, at grassroots level, our experts in biosecurity.” Commenting, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the BVA, said: “This is extremely disappointing. Just last month Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead praised the veterinary profession for its key role as a partner of the Government and now he does not see a role for vets in deciding the future of animal health and welfare delivery. “I would ask him to urgently review this decision.” Professor David Logue, President of the BVA’s Scottish Branch, added: “Vets in Scotland, who have had such a good relationship with the Scottish Government, feel very let down that they have not been asked for their input into what is going to be an extremely far-reaching review. “Furthermore, we consider that this review needs to consider not just farm stock but also other groups of animals such as fish and companion animals and this is not clearly stated in the terms of reference. Obvious examples of potentially-devastating exotic diseases are Infectious Salmon Anaemia in fish and African Horse Sickness in horses. Sadly there are more such examples. “Whatever the future holds we know that vets in Scotland will continue to play a significant role in animal health delivery, but we must ensure that the plans consider as many eventualities as possible and are workable.”

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