Animal health services - field delivery: review extension

This is a supplementary paper to the original report entitled "Field delivery of animal health services in Scotland: review", taking account of EU Exit, animal health and welfare legislation and COVID-19.


Annex 1 - Extension to the Review of Field Delivery of Animal Health Services in Scotland

Terms of Reference:


1. This project will build upon the previous work undertaken in 2019-20 in reviewing the field delivery of animal health and welfare services currently provided by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in Scotland.

2. This work resulted in the publication of your report entitled Review of Field Delivery of Animal Health Services in Scotland(herein referred to as "the report").

3. It is almost 2 years since the initial report reviewing field veterinary services in Scotland was written. Although many of the EU Exit predictions in the report have materialised, there are new problems that have since come to light. There are also many changes that have taken place in response to the challenges living with and responding to COVID-19, which was unforeseen by the review.

4. Furthermore, the SNP Manifesto published a commitment that went beyond the remit of the initial review in 2019, i.e. "create a new Scottish veterinary service to ensure that we have enough people with the right qualifications in veterinary services, animal health and food safety to meet all our needs across the public and private sector for land and marine based animal health issues".

5. We require you to revisit the report and consider whether there are any fundamental changes to the recommendations or amendments/additions to the initial recommendations, which include additional requirements and controls placed on APHA as a result of EU Exit (as well as Scotland's veterinary services, by that process), and the proposed extended reach of the SNP Manifesto commitment. For clarity, the main areas to focus on are the additional inclusion of "food safety" and "marine based animal health issues".


6. This extension of the review will consider the consequences of the additional services (referenced above), and how they can be integrated within the Scottish Veterinary Service (SVS). This work, like the original review of field delivery of animal health services in Scotland will:

  • Identify advantages and disadvantages of each option.

7. The reviewer may also identify activities and operations by APHA (other than the Scottish APHA Field Services), or other organisations, such as Marine Scotland (MS) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS), in the field of animal health and veterinary controls, which may also be considered for delivery by a Scottish Veterinary Service.


8. The research objectives for this project are to:

Assess the implications and identify the pros and cons of integrating marine based animal health issues and food safety aspects into the structure of the proposed Scottish Veterinary Service.

Review whether existing staff numbers are adequate in order to deliver an efficient and resilient service.

Review the impact of EU Exit on the services delivered by the Scottish Veterinary Service.

Provide recommendations for the future delivery of animal health and welfare field services in Scotland delivered by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Marine Scotland and Food Standards Scotland.


9. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, physical in-person meetings should only be held if there is a strict business need. It is expected that whilst these recommendations are in place for Scottish Government staff, these should also be followed by anyone contracted to work for the Scottish Government. Alternatives, such as desk-based interviews undertaken on Microsoft Teams, would be preferred for both your own wellbeing as well as the potential interviewees.

10. Methods may include surveys of users and/or providers of the current services, and analyses of animal health risks, environmental risks, economics, market forces and new technological solutions.

Research Outputs

11. The successful candidate will provide the Scottish Government with the following outputs:

An oral presentation of their research findings (potentially virtually, via MS Teams) to the Scottish Government by 27 September 2021.

A first draft of the report, which should contain an executive summary, in a format compatible with Microsoft Word by 08 October 2021.

A final report, which should contain an executive summary in a format compatible with Microsoft Word by 18 October, 2021.

The final report should provide recommendations for the Scottish Government regarding the delivery of Scottish veterinary field services, in line with the aim and objectives of the project.

Annex 2 – List of Organisations and Individuals Interviewed

Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)

Food Standards Scotland (FSS)

Local Authorities

Marine Scotland (MS)

Ronnie Soutar – fish veterinarian

Scottish Government



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