Veterinary Ireland has raised concerns that the Government’s Brexit border plan could see farmers left without adequate veterinary services.
The Department of Agriculture plans to supplement its permanent veterinary inspectorate with private vets.
However, Veterinary Ireland said there has been “no meaningful engagement with Veterinary Ireland on the arrangements to be put in place”.
This would undermine the availability of veterinary services to the farming community
Its president Dr David MacGuinness warned that the Department proposal would see private vets being “removed from an already overstretched veterinary service serving the needs of the farming community and the public which includes the provision of 24-hour emergency care, into full-time positions at border inspection posts”.
“This would undermine the availability of veterinary services to the farming community and the public and would impact adversely on the ability of practices to deliver these services while undermining out of hours rotas for existing vets,” he added.
The Department of Agriculture is offering 40-hour per week contracts.
Veterinary Ireland chief executive Finbarr Murphy said: “The existing Temporary Veterinary Inspector (TVI) model and agreement, which allows for the engagement of private veterinary practitioners on a part-time basis, would better meet the objectives of the Department and vets in practice whilst complementing the provision of veterinary services to the farming community and the public.”
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