Veterinary associations across the UK are being told they will be forced to make cuts to their budgets in order to boost their competitiveness and boost animal welfare.
In a move that could have the potential to further damage the pet industry, the Pet Industry Association (PIA) is now demanding that it be given greater powers to make its recommendations on industry rules and regulations.
The group says the current system is broken and wants to see a better deal for its members.
Pet owners in the UK spend a staggering £1bn a year on pets.
The majority of this comes from pet owners who are responsible for the care of their animals.
This is largely because of the fact that, despite the rise of the pet trade, pet owners are still largely responsible for keeping their animals in good health.
It is estimated that up to two million animals are currently in the care system, and some 80% of them are suffering from diseases and are at risk of contracting other illnesses.
In a statement, PIA president Tom Millington said the association was calling for more powers to protect the welfare of its members in the veterinary profession.
“In the meantime, the current state of affairs leaves many pet owners and vets struggling to meet the growing demand for their services,” he said.
Mr Millingtons group, which is made up of more than 1,500 members, wants the Government to allow it to negotiate more contracts and to give its members more autonomy in the future.
As well as making its case for increased powers, the PIA wants more funding to help vets increase their training and improve their care.
Dr Helen Kiley, the chair of the PAA, said: “We have a very fragmented and highly fragmented industry, with many organisations and companies not having any clear objectives for what they want to do with their time and resources.
I think this has created a situation where the industry is being forced to operate in a very narrow space.”
We think that this needs to change.”
What is a pet vet?
A vet is a veterinarian who treats animals for a fee.
They are not a vet for profit and they do not make money from selling their services.
They also do not take commission from the pet owners for the cost of their care or the cost they incur to treat their animals when they need to.
They are responsible to the owner for the welfare and well-being of their animal.
They provide vaccinations, tests and treatment, but not surgery.
What are the rules?
The PIA’s statement said that the Veterinary Association of Great Britain (VAGB) should be given the power to negotiate a more equitable contract with vets in the pet sector.
It also called for greater transparency on how vets spend their time.
How can vets improve their practice?
The organisation said vets could take a “multi-faceted approach” to improve their practices.
VATS will need to: 1.
create a new system of professional standards that will enable vets to ensure that they are treating animals in a manner that is in the best interests of their patients; 2.
develop and publish a new code of practice and training guidelines for veterinarians; 3.
provide vets with more information on the care and carer-vet relationship; 4.
develop an animal welfare plan for vets to use in future; 5.
develop new protocols for dealing with veterinary emergencies; 6.
make vets’ pay more equitable and provide more support to their employees; 7.
develop policies and guidelines for the treatment of veterinary patients in the community and in institutions; and 8.
make veterinary services more accessible to pets and their owners.
Is this an attempt by the Government or PIA to cut the NHS?
There has been a suggestion in recent months that the Government has been trying to cut animal welfare spending in the name of reducing the NHS budget.
According to the government, the animal welfare budget was £9bn in 2014/15.
This includes £5bn for veterinary treatment, £5.6bn for social care and £2.4bn for research and innovation.
However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the figure was based on a 2015 study, which concluded that veterinary care was the only sector that provided good outcomes for the public.
More to come.