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RCVS Council
RCVS concerns about certification relating to lay TB testing

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  • Certification by veterinary surgeons of work done by lay TB testers

  • Impact of university tuition fees

  • Resolving complaints

These were among matters discussed by the RCVS Council at its meeting on November 3. The RCVS President, Jerry Davies, chaired the meeting, which was held at Belgravia House, London SW1P.

SOME of the issues surrounding the certification by veterinary surgeons of work done by lay TB testers were brought to the attention of the Council by Clare Tapsfield-Wright, chair of the RCVS's Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee was in talks with Defra about this, she said, and it was very important that channels of communication were kept open.

The lay TB testing situation was inevitably being driven forward by the need for cost cutting within government. ‘I think we just have to accept that things are progressing and we just need to make sure we have as much input as possible into decision making,’ she said. The Advisory Committee was concerned about certain aspects of the use of lay TB testers, particularly with regard to certification by veterinary surgeons on occasions where their involvement with an animal had been ‘limited or non-existent’. It had asked the certification sub-committee to review again how veterinary surgeons were certifying work done by lay TB testers.

The RCVS Officers at the Council meeting on November 3: (from left) Bradley Viner (treasurer), Peter Jinman (vice-president), Jerry Davies (President), Gordon Hockey (assistant registrar) and Jacqui Molyneux (vice-president)

Photographs: I. Holloway/RCVS

The Advisory Committee had been told that the main issue was that TB testing as required by the relevant European directive on control of the disease was veterinary surgery as defined by the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. An exemption order had been introduced in 2005 to allow lay TB testers to carry out …

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