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Veterinary Surgeons

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the public petition of 9 June 2004 from Mrs. I. O’Neill and others for an independent ombudsman to deal with complaints against the veterinary profession; and what response he has made to the petition. (96294)

The Government have made it clear on a number of occasions that they accept that the current arrangements for dealing with complaints against veterinary surgeons could be improved. This means looking at the scope of any complaints system, the range of actions that the regulatory body has at its disposal, and whether the system is sufficiently transparent and fair.

We have received a number of ideas on how complaints against veterinary surgeons should be managed, including the appointment of an independent ombudsman. We will also look at whether better models exist for the way in which complaints against other professions are handled. These issues are being considered as part of a wider review of the existing regulatory framework for veterinary surgeons. However there is currently no set timetable for making changes to the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many veterinary surgeons qualified in each year since 2000. (96592)

The number of veterinary surgeons to have qualified in each year since 2000 are as follows:

Number of veterinary surgeons qualified