Autumn Statement: reaction to Defra cuts
26 November 2015
In response to the Chancellor’s Spending Review (25 November), where he announced that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) operating budget will be cut by 15%, BVA President Sean Wensley said:
"In recent years we have already seen the impact of significant cuts to Defra's budget on veterinary fees for TB testing and other OV services and on disease surveillance so further cuts are of concern, although we are pleased they are not as severe as originally forecast.
"We welcome the Government’s announcement that spending on animal and plant health will be prioritised, particularly the continued commitment to implement the comprehensive bTB eradication strategy. We also welcome the capital investment in Defra’s science estates and equipment in order to enhance national disease outbreak response capabilities, which we hope will help support vets in the vital frontline role they play day-in day-out on the ground.
However animal welfare was noticeably absent from the announcement, and BVA will continue to press Defra to ensure animal welfare policy and research remains a priority."