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‘THE proposed changes to AHVLA structure and service procurement have the potential to weaken rather than strengthen the relationship between AHVLA, the veterinary profession and other stakeholders and, in doing so, potentially weaken the existing veterinary and surveillance network that has served us so well in the past.’
So say the BVA and British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) in a joint submission to an inquiry by the parliamentary Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRACom) into the rationalisation of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency's laboratory services in England and the AHVLA's proposals for competitive tendering for Official Veterinarian (OV) services. The EFRACom announced its inquiry in November last year, inviting written evidence (VR, November 12, 2011, vol 169, p 512).
In their response, the BVA and BCVA acknowledge the need for ongoing modernisation of the veterinary surveillance network and the need for modern contractual arrangements between government and the wider veterinary profession. They also recognise that financial constraints ‘provide a challenging background to such changes’. However, they say that the two processes being discussed need to be considered in the wider context of the challenges faced by the UK livestock industry.
This emphasis on the wider perspective is ‘paramount’, the BVA and BCVA say, …