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Veterinary Services: Regulation

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 144863, tabled on 27 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of regulating veterinary services to (a) strengthen animal welfare and (b) ensure affordability for pet owners.

Answered on

5 February 2021

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the UK regulatory body for the veterinary profession, is currently undertaking a consultation on potential regulatory reform, including changes to the way vets and the wider veterinary team are regulated. They aim to report the consultation’s findings to Defra later in 2021.

The RCVS also advises it’s members on fees in its Code of Conduct: https://www.rcvs.org.uk/setting-standards/advice-and-guidance/code-of-professional-conduct-for-veterinary-surgeons/supporting-guidance/practice-information-and-fees/.

The fees are generally set by the market between the vet and their clients, but the RCVS could intervene if individual vets charged prices to pet owners that were so disproportionate, they amounted to disgraceful professional conduct.