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Rates relief campaign gains momentum

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By Matthew Limb

Pressure is mounting on ministers to boost financial support for struggling vet practices and avert potential closures linked to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Hundreds of vets and around 50 MPs so far are backing a campaign by the BVA to ensure vet practices, like pet shops, can access business rates relief.

Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion, who is collecting support for an early day motion in parliament highlighting the issue, said the government must act so vets can ‘weather the storm’.

Vet practices are not eligible for business rates relief, despite the fact that many are high street businesses and derive a significant proportion of their income from retailing medicines, treatments and other pet products.

Lake, who is a BVA honorary associate, said vets were doing what the government asked of them – protecting animal health and welfare and maintaining the food supply chain – but were suffering income losses from the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

He said many vets could not furlough themselves or their staff because they were needed to conduct TB tests and …

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