RCVS responds to CMA’s investigation of sector

RCVS responds to CMA’s investigation of sector

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has submitted its response after the Competition and Market Authority confirmed it is to launch a formal investigation into the veterinary market after identifying “multiple concerns” in an initial review, including that pet owners may be overpaying for treatments and medicines.

In its letter the RCVS:

  • recognised the CMA’s concerns and the strength of feeling amongst all those who responded, and agreed that a Market Investigation Reference may be an appropriate next step;
  • welcomed the CMA’s view that there is a need to modernise the veterinary regulatory framework through new legislation;
  • encouraged the CMA to support our recommendation that we should be able to regulate veterinary practices as well as individual professionals, and reiterated our other key priorities for new veterinary legislation;
  • reconfirmed our plans to develop improved online advice for animal owners, and to review and streamline our existing advice for the professions on medicines supply options and pricing information;
  • advised caution that any option the CMA might pursue over business structures did not result in reduced access to care; and,
  • expressed our serious concern about the worrying spike in abusive client behaviour towards veterinary teams since the CMA published its report.

Chief executive Lizzie Lockett added: “We recognise that your inquiry will take some time; in the meantime we will continue with the measures already being undertaken by the College as outlined in my letter of 24 March 2024 and highlighted above, namely:

– A working party to develop our proposals for mandatory practice regulation.

– Developing improved online advice for animal owners/keepers via our new Public Advisory Group (PAG).

– Taking a thematic approach to consolidate and amplify our existing guidance.