t the possible impact of lay testing on the viability of large animal practice in certain areas. The welfare of farm animals and the monitoring of farm animal disease could be compromised if the network of large-animal veterinary practices is stretched too thin. It is clear that tuberculosis (TB) testing work is critical to the survival of some practices. You have drawn attention to the assurance in the consultation letter that the proposal "is not a precursor to the SVS recruiting large numbers of Animal Health Officers and taking over all, or most, TB testing". The consultation letter also makes clear that technicians might be employed by LVI practices as well as by the State Veterinary Service.
DEFRA has invited comments by September 26 on the acceptability of the proposals and on the potential impact on veterinary businesses. The RCVS is considering its response. In the meantime I would urge LVIs and other interested members of the profession to let DEFRA know their views and how they would be affected by the proposal.
Professor R E W Halliwell MA VetMB PhD MRCVS