Veterinary surgeons are increasingly gloomy about Brexit, according to the latest Voice of the Profession survey of 839 practitioners carried out by the BVA in September and October this year.

According to the survey, 64% of veterinary surgeons now see Brexit as more of a threat than an opportunity for the UK veterinary profession, compared to just half in autumn 2016. Conversely, the number that see Brexit as being more of an opportunity has dropped from 18% to 14% over the same period. 

Vets working in academia and industry were the most gloomy: 69% of vets in academia and 58% of vets in industry see Brexit as more of a threat to their own area of work than an opportunity.

The biggest impact appears to have been on veterinary recruitment, with 53% saying Brexit has made it harder to recruit veterinary surgeons, compared to only 18% in 2016. By comparison, only 11% said it has become harder to recruit veterinary nurses.

51% also now consider Brexit as a threat to animal welfare, compared to 43% in 2016.

BVA President Simon Doherty (pictured right, looking decidedly chipper despite it all) said: "As the UK Government ramps up its planning for a no-deal scenario, it’s clear that the veterinary profession is becoming increasingly concerned about the potential impact of Brexit.

"Top of vets’ list of concerns is significant veterinary workforce shortages across critical areas of animal welfare and public health. Veterinary concerns around animal welfare have also increased as the Government continues to stall on introducing new legislation to enshrine animal sentience in UK law before March.

"From pet passports and food safety, to disease surveillance and trade certification, there is no area of veterinary work that is not touched by Brexit. So, we can fully understand why our members are worried about the future. BVA will continue to raise these important veterinary issues with policymakers to ensure the profession is considered as Brexit discussions continue."

The BVA briefings on “Brexit and the veterinary profession” and “No deal Brexit and the veterinary profession” set out all of the issues of interest in more detail.

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