The Brexit referendum is taking its toll on the veterinary industry, with one in five saying that recruitment is harder.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is concerned about the recruitment and retention of staff post-Brexit.
They told the UK Migration Advisory Committee this week that if there are no appropriate immigration measures put in place then a large gap in the 23,000-strong veterinary workforce will appear.
BVA research indicates about one fifth of vets are already finding vet recruitment harder. Over half of vets registering in the UK each year come from overseas, mostly the EU.
Three quarters may go
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has commissioned research which shows nearly a third of EU vets and vet nurses are considering moving back home.
The Migratory Committee also heard that all 128,000 EU nationals working in Scotland contribute an average of £34,400 each to gross domestic product, according to the Scottish Government.
Separately, the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE)has called on Brexit negotiators not to jeopardise current high levels of animal health and welfare.
“Infectious diseases don’t respect borders, so assuring animal health, public health, food safety
and animal welfare require an international approach,” FVE president Rafael Laguens said.
For every animal or animal product that is imported or exported, specially trained official veterinarians must certify and supervise the process to and from third countries, facilitating smooth trade.
The plea calls for the EU and UK to commit to a single standard that will help avoid confusion and the opportunity for fraud.
The group also called for continued EU-wide mutual recognition of veterinary degrees, given the mobility of the profession across Europe.