BVA responds to OV tender result in England

17 February 2015

The Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) has today confirmed the award of contracts to five regional Delivery Partners in England to deliver bovine TB testing and other Official Veterinarian (OV) services. From 1 May 2015 all new TB testing and other OV work in England will be undertaken by the five regional suppliers.

Commenting, BVA President John Blackwell said:
 
“In any tendering process there are winners and losers. As our members are involved with the successful and unsuccessful bids we cannot comment on the specific of the awards.
 
“BVA has always argued that changes to the delivery of OV services must not be driven by cost savings alone. We therefore opposed the original decision to move to a system of tendering for OV services because of the potential unintended consequence of undermining the sustainability of the network of veterinary practices in rural areas. We lobbied hard for the tendering to reflect the need for any new system to ensure that the vital relationship between farmers and their local vets continued and we were pleased that APHA included this requirement in the invitation to tender. 
 
“It is essential that local vets in England continue to play an important role in critical disease testing, such as bovine TB, and other OV services and we will expect the delivery partners to utilise the existing networks of local veterinary practices. We will monitor how the service is being delivered at a local level and feed in any concerns raised by our members to Defra and APHA, particularly in terms of any erosion of the link between vets and farmers and the potential impact of a loss of veterinary services in rural areas.
 
“APHA must continue to recognise that veterinary surgeons are vital to both individual farms and to the national disease control programmes.”

BVA Media Office