Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Session 2006-07

10 July 2007

10 July 2007

New inquiry announced: Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966

The EFRA Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into the need to replace the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. The Committee will consider whether the provisions of the 1966 Act are out of step with developments in the veterinary surgeon and related professions. In particular, the Committee invites evidence on the following changes to the 1966 Act which have been proposed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons:

- Whether the provisions of the 1966 Act are out of step with developments in the veterinary surgeon and related professions;

- Whether there ought to be regulation of providers of veterinary care other than veterinary surgeons;

- Whether the delivery of veterinary services ought to be regulated through a mandatory practice standards scheme, with a professional code of ethics, rather than the RCVS regulating practitioners on an individual basis;

- Whether the RCVS and Veterinary Nurses Council (VNC) should be given the power to require continuing professional development and revalidation;

- Whether the governing body of the RCVS and VNC ought to include appointed lay persons as well as veterinary professionals;

- Whether the RCVS and VNC ought to have a separate conduct committee with the powers to investigate complaints, give warnings and to make interim orders pending proceedings; and

- Whether the RCVS ought to have the power to delegate specified procedures to people holding qualifications recognised by the RCVS Council.

The Committee welcomes written submissions on these issues. The deadline for receipt of written evidence is Tuesday 25 September. Further details about the timing of the inquiry will be announced in due course.

More information about the required format of submissions is given below.


Submissions should be in Word or rich text format and sent by e-mail to Nerys Welfoot at efracom@parliament.uk. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary, ideally no more than one page long.

Committees make public much of the evidence they receive during inquiries. If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

Personal information, such as address and contact details, should be provided separately from the body of your submission. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, no public use should be made of the submission unless you have first obtained permission from the Committee.

For further details about this inquiry, please contact Nerys Welfoot, Second Clerk, on 020 7219 2735.

Information about the Committee can be found at: http://www.parliament.uk/efracom