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RCVS Calls on Government to take notice of the Royal Society Inquiry findings

18 July 2002

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) welcomes the publication this week of the Royal Society's Inquiry into "Infectious Diseases in Livestock".

RCVS President, Stephen Ware, said: "The findings fully support what we were saying all along during the FMD Crisis last year. We note that there are a number of recommendations where the College can play a role in ensuring that the United Kingdom is better placed in future to deal with infectious diseases. The College will be happy to respond to these recommendations and to work with Government to find solutions to many of the problems. We also look forward to hearing what action the Government proposes to take with regard to the findings."

The RCVS in particular welcomes the proposals for tighter controls on illegal imports into the UK to prevent the spread and import of infectious diseases combined with effective contingency plans as the prime mechanisms of defence.

In the event of an outbreak, more responsibility should be devolved to the local veterinary surgeon on the ground dealing with the control measures, thereby giving veterinary surgeons the tools they need to deal with the matter effectively.

Additional funding is required for research and there is an obvious need to make more resources available to the laboratories so that speedy diagnoses can be made. The RCVS has been making this point for the last five years since the publication of the Selborne Report on Veterinary Research in November 1997.

The RCVS looks forward to discussions with Government to address these issues and help prevent a repeat of last year's events.


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