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"The UK must be better prepared for a disease outbreak" calls RCVS President, Stephen Ware

23 July 2002

RCVS President, Stephen Ware, today called for improved contingency planning and disease control measures in the light of the findings of Professor Iain Anderson's "Lessons Learned" Inquiry published yesterday:

"We must be better prepared for any disease outbreak in the future. The ramifications of the 2001 FMD outbreak are still being felt today, and it is the duty of all those who were involved in helping to bring the disease under control to heed the Inquiry's recommendations and translate them into action."

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) welcomed the publication this week of Professor Iain Anderson's "Lessons Learned" Inquiry. In particular, the RCVS welcomes the recommendations pertaining to training and as part of its statutory remit, the RCVS will seek to liaise with the Department for Education and Skills, DEFRA, the universities and other veterinary professional bodies to address the issues of improved training for local veterinary inspectors and the scope for increasing the capacity of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary provision.

Over the past few years, in discussions with DEFRA/MAFF, the RCVS has emphasised the need to have veterinary surgeons on farms at regular intervals, the need for increased manpower within the State Veterinary Service and possible devolution of certain veterinary tasks to veterinary "paramedics".

Stephen Ware further emphasised: "we are keen to pursue these issues with DEFRA and assist in building an effective structure to ensure that our nation does not see a repeat of the 2001 FMD Outbreak."

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