The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed plans to offer free certification training for vets to help meet an increased demand for services in the event of a no deal Brexit.
Under the new plans announced on Friday (8 February) by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), vets will be able to access Official Control Qualification (Veterinary) (OCQ(V)) training in the qualifications required to certify the export of animal products to the EU.
Official Veterinarians who are already registered on the database but do not hold a products exports qualification (OCQ(V) – PX) will be able to access the free training courses which need to be completed ahead of gaining the full qualification. Vets who are not official but who wish to offer certification services can receive registration with Improve International’s database and training in all three required qualifications free of charge.
Simon Doherty, BVA president, said: “It’s great to see that APHA is planning ahead and incentivising the uptake of export qualifications across the veterinary workforce. A no deal Brexit could see the requirement for veterinary certification services spiralling, so it makes sense to prepare ahead to ensure that there is adequate supply of suitably qualified vets to meet this demand in case no agreement is reached.
“We’ve repeatedly raised concerns about the veterinary workforce’s capacity to meet increased demand for services including certification and health testing in the event of a no deal Brexit. We will continue to engage with the government to ensure that the potential impacts of this scenario on both the workforce and animal welfare are understood and factored into contingency planning.”