Under the plans, announced by Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon at NFU Scotland’s AGM, the new service will replace field animal health and welfare functions currently delivered by the Animal and Plant Health Agency in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has said that it will strengthen delivery of tasks in a range of areas including disease control, as well as helping to create more opportunities for young people in Scotland who want to follow careers in veterinary, animal health and food safety services.
Romain Pizzi, BVA Scottish branch president, said: “We see advantages and potential risks in the creation of a new Scottish Veterinary Service, so we’re keen to help shape the plans.
“In Scotland we pride ourselves on high welfare, high quality agricultural produce so there are real opportunities for a more Scotland-centric approach that can really focus on our own animal health and welfare priorities.
“But we know that diseases and animal welfare problems don’t respect borders, and so it will be critical that there are systems in place for a new service to collaborate and liaise with the rest of the UK, and beyond, on disease surveillance, data collection, and information sharing.
“Veterinary expertise must be at the heart of any new service, and we look forward to engaging with Scottish Government through the stakeholder group as the plans develop.”