Vet budget cuts of £6m 'dangerous'

UK - Vets have warned that cuts of £6 million to Defra’s veterinary budget revealed this week are ‘dangerous’ and will potentially lower the country’s defences against diseases like avian flu and foot-and-mouth.
calendar icon 27 October 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
Defra revealed more details on exactly where its £200m budget cuts will be targeted. The State Veterinary Service’s (SVS) budget for 2006/7 is being reduced by £3m, while £2.4m is being slashed from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency’s budget – cuts of 3 per cent in both cases.

A written parliamentary answer from Rural Affairs Minister Barry Gardiner on Tuesday also revealed cuts of £283,000 (7 per cent) for the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, £839,000 (7 per cent) for the Pesticides Safety Directorate and £403,000 (8 per cent) for Food From Britain.

It also confirmed previously known cuts of £24m for the Environment Agency’s budget and £13m for Natural England.

Ironically, the one body to see its budget increased was the Rural Payments Agency, whose overspend on the SPS was partly responsible for the general belt-tightening. Its reward is a £23m (11 per cent) budget increase.

Most of the reaction to the figures centred around the veterinary cuts, however. There is considerable alarm in particular over the impact on the SVS, which plays a role in monitoring disease like avian flu and foot-and-mouth.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.