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Overseas vets are a no-deal Brexit contingency plan

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By Josh Loeb

The boss of the largest supplier of vets to government agencies is to test a special legal exemption enabling vets who qualified in Asia and South America to become licensed to practise in the UK.

If granted this would allow overseas vets to practise on a limited scale in the UK without first having to pass the statutory membership examination, a requirement by the RCVS.

Jason Aldiss, managing director of official veterinarian (OV) contractor Eville & Jones, is hoping to utilise a little-known legal provision in the Veterinary Surgeons Act (VSA) – VSA Section 7 (S7) – to obtain temporary registration for six vets who qualified in countries whose nationals have traditionally faced relatively high barriers to entry in the UK.

If he is successful in registering these initial six, who qualified from (officially unrecognised) vet schools in countries including India, Pakistan and Colombia, then Aldiss expects to progressively move to bring more such international vets into the UK to ameliorate the workforce crisis.

Normally only vets from the EU or those who qualified from approved institutions in a quintet of other nations (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) can be registered in the UK without first passing the statutory exam.

The move is particularly significant with predicted increases in demand for veterinary certification as Britain faces uncertainty over Brexit.

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