Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Independent Report Calls For Rethink On Farm Veterinary Service in the UK

Date:
August 6, 2009
Source:
University, Newcastle
Summary:
The veterinary profession needs to rethink its relationship with farmers and with the government, and play a more positive and central role in ensuring food safety, according to an independent report to the UK government, the veterinary profession and the farming industry.

The veterinary profession needs to rethink its relationship with farmers and with the government, and play a more positive and central role in ensuring food safety, according to an independent report to the UK government, the veterinary profession and the farming industry.

The report, “Unlocking potential, a report on veterinary expertise in food animal production”, is authored by Professor Philip Lowe, and draws on the deliberations of a working group that brought together Defra, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the British Veterinary Association and the Royal Veterinary College.

The report finds a widening gap between the perceptions of vets and farmers about the role of veterinary medicine. While many farm vets voice fears that farmers are increasingly unable to access vital services because of a tendency for newly-qualified practitioners to gravitate towards small animal practice, farmers are more inclined to regard vets as costly “quasi regulators” who add little value to their businesses.

Statistics do show a growing number of small animal practices, vastly overshadowing farm vet practices: just 10% of veterinary private practice is on farm animals. The report emphasises the urgent need to overcome the increasing marginalisation of this vital service.

Professor Lowe looks at ways in which the profession might halt the drift of its focus away from agriculture and food production, with better training and preparation for young vets on farm animal practice, and more use of technicians to carry out routine tasks as part of a multidisciplinary team, offering a more flexible and differentiated service.

He highlights weaknesses in the public health role of vets and comments on the cultural divide that has come about with the centralised development of the Meat Hygiene Service. This specialisation has cut the link between local vets and food hygiene in abattoirs, which is now largely implemented by professionals who have qualified abroad.

He finds, furthermore, that the roles, responsibilities and training of veterinarians in the welfare of farm animals are unclear, while the profession itself expresses dissatisfaction with some aspects of the government’s Veterinary Surveillance Strategy and the role of the vet in monitoring animals for exotic disease.

Professor Lowe said: “This report has been a major undertaking that could not have been achieved without the very active cooperation of the veterinary profession and of farmers, who have given generously of their time.

“All have shown a willingness to address the issues, and my conversations with the veterinary profession leave me in no doubt that they have the leadership and the energy to take on board the findings from my report and bring about a renewed sense, both within and beyond the animal health world, of the essential contribution made by food animal medicine.

“It is timely, for both farmers and vets to be looking to the future, and particularly at the role that vets need to play in ensuring the safety of the food chain. The new proposals from the government for responsibility and cost sharing on animal health present both challenges and opportunities. Vets have to be clear about where their expertise will fit into this picture.

“My recommendation is for the profession to seize the initiative and create a Veterinary Development Council, which could reconnect professional education and training with the needs of the primary customer, carve out new niches for technicians and develop the farm health planning role of vets. It would also provide an opportunity to formalise the major part that vets can play, helping to equip farmers with the skills in animal health that they need in order to run their businesses and to ensure the supply of safe and good quality food.”

The report may be downloaded here.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University, Newcastle. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University, Newcastle. "Independent Report Calls For Rethink On Farm Veterinary Service in the UK." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806080347.htm>.
University, Newcastle. (2009, August 6). Independent Report Calls For Rethink On Farm Veterinary Service in the UK. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806080347.htm
University, Newcastle. "Independent Report Calls For Rethink On Farm Veterinary Service in the UK." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806080347.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins