To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing financial support to British businesses that are required to contract a veterinary surgeon as part of exporting goods to Northern Ireland.
19 July 2021
The Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS) was established following an assessment of the need to provide financial support to businesses that are required to contract a veterinary surgeon as part of exporting goods to Northern Ireland. The scheme, now in place until 2023, has already supported more than 140 businesses, covering the cost of more than 11,400 certificates and 1,300 inspection hours.
The Government has increased the number of Official Veterinarians (OVs) holding the relevant qualification to certify exports of products of animal origin, including meat products, in Great Britain from approximately 600 in February 2019 to more than 1900 to date. On 1 October 2020, the Government launched a new funded training scheme to enhance OV capacity further. In parallel, the Government launched a scheme to train Certification Support Officers (CSOs). CSOs can handle several preliminary and administrative tasks to prepare consignments for certification. This reduces the burden on OVs and Local Authority Certifying Officers.