FSA to discuss vet shortage with abattoir owners
The RCVS has already revealed that between 2019 and 2021 new recruits to the UK veterinary profession fell by 26%, while 2020 saw the highest number of vets leaving UK practice in 10 years .
The report said UK regulators were “struggling to recruit and retain the skills they need to regulate effectively” in their new and expanded roles post EU exit. Progress on developing long-term regulatory strategies post-EU Exit has been slow, and the future direction of UK regulation still unclear.
It said there are particular shortages of vets to monitor food safety and animal welfare in abattoirs and toxicologists to assess food risks and chemical safety, and lawyers and economists to enforce competition law.
However, the report also highlighted that the FSA has worked with the Royal College of Veterinarians to agree temporary arrangements that allows those who need to improve their language skills in English to stay for 12 months.
It is also looking at ways to make a career in veterinary public health more attractive to UK-qualified vets as well, including directly employing veterinarians to provide more career progression, reviewing pay and exploring ways to make roles more flexible, the report added.
Junior Johnson, director of Operations at FSA, said that while there has been no interruption in service to date official veterinarians are “in very short supply”.