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■ Expansion in the use of lay TB testers
■ Retention fees frozen for 2012
■ Costs of the RCVS's new database
■ Decision-making by RCVS Council
■ Lay observers report on the work of the Preliminary Investigation Committee
These were among matters discussed by the RCVS Council at its meeting on June 2. The President, Peter Jinman, chaired the meeting, which was held at Belgravia House, London SW1P.
THE Council discussed the issue of lay TB testing after a paper from the RCVS Advisory Committee suggested that, despite the RCVS's position on lay testing, the use of lay testers employed by Defra continued to expand, particularly in Wales.
The Advisory Committee paper also noted that the RCVS was actively assisting Defra with other issues relating to the TB testing programme ‘but that Defra appears to be reluctant to discuss this aspect [lay testing] and the goodwill of the BVA and British Cattle Veterinary Association is not being reciprocated’. The RCVS was also concerned that it had not been notified or consulted over recent changes to the TB testing procedure designed to prevent fraud.
‘What is happening about this?’ asked Lynne Hill. ‘These are very serious issues for the profession,’ she said, noting that they could potentially have implications in a disciplinary context. ‘Where and how are we taking this forward? I would like to have some answers.’
Bob Moore, the chairman of the Advisory Committee, explained that the College's position had always been that TB testing was an act of diagnosis. However, in 2005, Defra had introduced an Exemption Order allowing TB testing to be performed by trained …