A shortage of vets even before Brexit
Dear Sir, — An internal Brexit impact report by Dover District Council has revealed that there are “inadequate facilities to inspect and store food” and “no facilities to park vehicles waiting for examination”. Such checks have not taken place since 1992 when the EU’s single market was established.
Neither Dover, nor the Channel Tunnel, are designated border inspection posts for products of animal origin, but both are likely to be required after a “hard” Brexit, according to the report. The nearest border inspection points are at Southampton and Folkestone.
However, under UK law, animal product checks must take place at the point of entry to prevent any potential contamination from diseases such as avian flu or foot and mouth disease. These checks would also require the employment of dozens of new vets, but already there is a shortage.
Many current veterinary inspection points are already mainly manned by European Economic Area nationals. Industry calculations suggest there are not enough vets across the whole of Europe to operate the required new border inspection points after Brexit. The single market did away with the need to train vets, which takes several years. Indeed, the council’s report states “we cannot begin to surmise ...the substantial work force required”.
Vet Daniealla Dos Santos called into Nigel Farage’s LBC Show to say Brexit would be disastrous for her industry.
She said her fears, which are factually based, should not be dismissed as “scaremongering” because they are the truth of the matter.
She said uncertainties over rights for EU workers was contributing to a 300% drop in the number of vets. Earlier this year, a report from the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee, warned that non-British vets are of fundamental importance to the UK’s veterinary workforce.
Farage was forced to admit that he had no idea that the UK was not producing enough vets. Farage was then seen in a video circulating on social media looking genuinely speechless and struggled to form a response.
Farage was forced to admit that it could be “bad for farmers” and could lead to a “lowering of standards of what we buy in the shops”.
Surely, no one voted for this. — Yours faithfully,
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