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BVA poses questions about the impact of Scottish independence

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QUESTIONS about the future of the veterinary profession in an independent Scotland were posed by the BVA President, Robin Hargreaves, in his speech to the BVA's annual dinner in Scotland last week.

Speaking at the event, held in the Scottish Parliament building on May 14, Mr Hargreaves said that, as a non-partisan organisation, the BVA had not taken a position on Scottish independence; rather it had tried to provide a forum for informed debate among its members. It had also questioned the Scottish Government and the RCVS about the issue. However, he said, it was evident that there was a ‘degree of frustration’ among some members who were looking for clearer answers about the regulation of the profession in an independent Scotland, if this was the outcome of the forthcoming referendum.

‘We have questions around the impact on veterinary regulation; on funding for Scotland's network of world-class research institutes and the potential for duplication; on funding for places at Scotland's two excellent veterinary schools; and on veterinary surveillance,’ said Mr Hargreaves.

The dinner in Edinburgh was one of four that the BVA holds in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each year, to bring issues of importance to the veterinary profession to the attention of policymakers and others with an interest in animal health and welfare.

During his speech, Mr Hargreaves noted that, regardless of the outcome of the Scottish independence vote on September 18, Great Britain would continue to be a single epidemiological unit when it came to disease. In England and Wales, changes to veterinary surveillance were already underway; however, in Scotland, the veterinary profession and livestock industry were waiting to hear about plans for the future following …

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