VMG calls for full engagement with review of veterinary prices
The Veterinary Management Group has urged everyone to engage with the Competition and Markets Authority review of how veterinary services are bought and sold amid concerns that pet owners may not be getting a good deal or receiving the information they need to make good choices.
VMG President, Miles Russell, above, said: “The CMA’s announcement of its review into the veterinary services market for household pets is hardly a surprise. The UK veterinary sector landscape is undergoing significant change with the corporatisation of the household pet marketplace. The recent spike in pet ownership and the current economic climate have combined to focus pet owners’ minds on how they access veterinary care, the clarity and transparency of the information provided about that care and who is providing it, and the cost of that care.
“There can be no doubt that just as pet owners are facing financial strain, so veterinary practices are facing alarming increases in operating costs, shortages of qualified staff, and ever-rising costs of medicines.
“The CMA review needs to gather as much quality information as possible to establish an accurate picture of the market and I encourage pet owners, practice managers, veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, and veterinary businesses to engage with the CMA, and participate. This can be done by completing the CMA online Review Questionnaire on the GOV.UK CMA website. The survey is active for six weeks so there is no time to lose.
“An informed, detailed and accurate CMA Review is in the best interests of our industry as well as the pet owners and pets we serve.”
The CMA said vet fees were rising faster than other goods and services during the cost-of-living crisis.
Pet owners can face “eye-watering” bills, said consumer group Which?, which shared its findings with the CMA.
The British Veterinary Association said it had not seen evidence that changes in the sector were pushing up prices.
The vet industry is worth £2bn after pet ownership rose to two-thirds of UK households during the Covid pandemic.