IN THE event of a no-deal Brexit, there will be a surge in demand for veterinary certification of animal products for export, as previous reciprocal agreements with the EU end.

In preparation for such a scenario, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has announced plans to allow vets free access to ‘Official Control Qualification Veterinary’ training in the qualifications required to certify the export of animal products to the EU.

This news has been welcomed by the British Veterinary Association: “It’s great to see that APHA is planning ahead and incentivising the uptake of export qualifications across the veterinary workforce,” commented BVA president Simon Doherty. “A no-deal Brexit could see the requirement for veterinary certification services spiralling, so it makes sense to prepare ahead to ensure that there is adequate supply of suitably qualified vets to meet this demand in case no agreement is reached.

“We’ve repeatedly raised concerns about the veterinary workforce’s capacity to meet increased demand for services including certification and health testing in the event of a no-deal Brexit. We will continue to engage with the government to ensure that the potential impacts of this scenario on both the workforce and animal welfare are understood and factored into contingency planning,” he concluded.

Official Veterinarians who are already registered on the database but do not hold a products exports qualification (OCQ(V) – PX) will be able to access free training in the Essential Skills and Exports General modules, courses which need to be completed ahead of gaining the full qualification.

Vets who are not OVs, but who wish to offer certification services, can receive registration with Improve International’s database and training in all three required qualifications free of charge.