Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Petition Change COVID-19 critical workers list to include all veterinary staff

Place all veterinary staff on the COVID-19 critical worker list. Veterinary medicine and the welfare of all animals is essential and shouldn't be undervalued.
The job cannot be performed from home. Critical worker status needs to include vets, vet nurses and support staff to ensure animal welfare.

More details

Currently only vets involved in food production and those providing emergency services are classified as key workers in England.

In Wales all vets, veterinary technicians and support staff are included.

All veterinary staff should be added to the COVID-19 critical workers list in all of the UK.

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Government responded

This response was given on 3 March 2021

Vets whose work is supporting the coronavirus or EU transition response are classified as critical workers in current guidance. All vets may leave home for work if they are unable to work from home.

Vets whose work is critical to supporting the national coronavirus or EU transition response, or to the certification or checking of goods for import and export, are classified as critical workers under the current Cabinet Office and Department for Education guidance. This includes vets who are supporting food imports and exports through certifying Export Health Certificates as well as those working at food manufacturing plants, abattoirs and border control posts.

As is the case for all workers, it is permissible for vets to leave home for work purposes where they are unable to work from home. To support animal welfare, all veterinary practices are permitted to remain open under the current coronavirus restrictions in England, provided COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed.

We are working closely with the veterinary industry to ensure that animal welfare is maintained throughout this difficult time.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the regulatory body of the veterinary profession, has provided advice on its website as to how veterinary practices should operate during the Covid 19 pandemic: https://www.rcvs.org.uk/faqs/what-if-we-are-short-staffed-and-cannot-provide-our-normal/

This advice is in line with the latest Government guidance and takes account of Cabinet Office’s advice regarding critical worker status for specific areas of the vet profession.

This has enabled veterinary practices to continue to provide veterinary care and maintain the animal welfare needs for their clients, in a safe manner for owners and veterinary staff alike.

Cabinet Office

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At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

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