The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has written to the Government urging for veterinary practices to be recognised as ‘business critical’ and thus covered in the scope of support measures for businesses affected by Covid-19, on account of the “essential services they provide that protect animal health and welfare, public health and wellbeing”.
BVA President Daniella Dos Santos said, “While BVA welcomes the scale of this response and the promise of an economic lifeline for many businesses, we are extremely concerned that these measures don’t currently extend to the veterinary profession. Veterinary practices are a mainstay in our communities providing a critical service to keep the UK’s pets healthy as well as supporting public health and wellbeing.
We are asking for an assurance from governments across the UK that veterinary practices will also be included in the scope for support and recognised as a business critical service
“With so many people self-isolating in the coming weeks and months, we can’t underestimate the important role that pets have to play in providing companionship and helping to boost their owners’ wellbeing. However, it is a sad fact that many practices may have no option but to close their doors for good if they aren’t eligible for the same support that’s rightly being rolled out to other businesses.
“We are asking for an assurance from governments across the UK that veterinary practices will also be included in the scope for support and recognised as a business critical service. Veterinary practices make such a valuable contribution to health and wellbeing at the heart of communities, so they need to be offered the same safety net that other businesses have been promised in the unpredictable times ahead.”
The £350 billion package of measures unveiled on Tuesday (17 March) by Chancellor Rishi Sunak includes rates reliefs and grants to support retail and hospitality businesses affected by the coronavirus, and pledged to do “whatever it takes” to keep these sectors afloat in the challenging times ahead.
Eligible businesses will receive 100 per cent rates relief for a year in England and 75 per cent in Scotland, with Wales and Northern Ireland expected to announce similar plans shortly.
Main image by Mirko Sajkov