200 more OVs needed post Brexit, says Defra

03 Oct 2020

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By Josh Loeb and Nicole Grygolunas

Around 200 extra full-time official veterinarians (OVs) will be needed to process additional export certification work due to Brexit.

George Eustice, secretary of state for Defra, confirmed the figures to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee last month.

The committee quizzed him on whether the UK had sufficient veterinary and paraprofessional capacity to meet increased requirements for export health certificates for products of animal origin after 31 December.

He said the government’s modelling showed that between 1000 and 1200 businesses would regularly need export health certificates to export products of animal origin to the EU. In addition, 600 to 800 businesses involved in exporting fisheries products would require them.

Although estimating exactly how many certificates would need to be completed by vets was difficult, he said, ‘analysis at the moment suggests this could be in the region of 100,000 to 300,000 export...