BVA presses for urgent reform of Veterinary Surgeons Act

BVA President presses for urgent reform of ‘not fit for purpose’ Veterinary Surgeons Act at the organisation’s annual Westminster dinner.

Speaking at the British Veterinary Association (BVA) annual Westminster dinner last night (Wednesday 29 February), addressing members of the veterinary profession, MPs and peers – including the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP – BVA President Dr. Anna Judson called for urgent modernisation and reform of the ‘outdated’ Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

Outlining the limitations of the existing legislation, including lack of accountability for vet practices, Anna said: “Created in a different era, [the Veterinary Surgeons Act] is nearly 60 years old and not fit for purpose…it is inappropriate that only individual vets and vet nurses can be held accountable for business decisions which can directly impact on animal health and welfare.”

Anna also highlighted the current act ‘fails to embrace the full potential of the veterinary team’ and specifically called for the title of ‘vet nurse’ to be recognised in law, reflecting that vet nurses are highly qualified and bring a wealth of experience to practice teams.

“My presidential theme ‘a profession for everyone’ reflects my belief that we must build a thriving profession, one that attracts and keeps our people and incorporates the whole veterinary team. We simply cannot achieve this on the foundations of the current, outdated legislation”, Anna added.