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How to tackle the UK’s vet shortage - EFRA Committee to investigate in one-off evidence session

7 March 2024

On Tuesday 12 March, the EFRA Committee will scrutinise the state of the UK’s veterinary sector workforce, examining whether the shortage of veterinary professionals has increased since 2018, when the Committee heard that there was an 11% gap in the workforce.

MPs will take evidence from leading experts in the sector, including the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, as well as the Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency, the Senior Vice President of the British Veterinary Association, and the Principal of the Royal Veterinary College. 

The cross-party Committee will investigate whether the UK has a sufficient pipeline of newly qualified vets, how successful the sector is at retaining professionals, and what factors are driving UK vets to leave the profession, or to work overseas. 

The hearing will provide an opportunity for MPs to explore how the sector is managing with the current levels of staffing, and to probe the implications of vet shortages for the food industry, border controls, biosecurity and animal welfare. 

MPs are likely to question witnesses on the number of vets coming to work in the UK from overseas, and ask whether the Government should be doing more to increase the attractiveness and accessibility of practicing in the UK to foreign veterinary professionals. 

The Committee will also raise the issue of whether there is adequate veterinary capacity to meet the Government’s requirements for XL bully dogs, including the volume of neutering required by the recent legislation. 


Tuesday 12 March in Room 6, Palace of Westminster

At 2.30pm 

  • Dr Christine Middlemiss, Chief Veterinary Officer, Government Veterinary Services
  • Malcolm Morley, Senior Vice President, British Veterinary Association (BVA)
  • Emily Miles, Chief Executive, Food Standards Agency (FSA)
  • Professor Stuart Reid, Principal, Royal Veterinary College (RVC)

Further information

Image: Creative-commons