FIVP statement on CMA’s formal market investigation

Following a consultation with major veterinary organisations, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it will be launching a full investigation into the veterinary market.

An inquiry group of independent experts, chaired by Martin Coleman, will now oversee the investigation. The group will have access to the CMA’s full investigation powers to gather new evidence and examine the CMA’s concerns.

FIVP believes that this could provide an opportunity to strengthen the veterinary market, and improve the possibilities for practices to develop and innovate. We hope that the regulator has considered FIVP’s feedback to its consultation, and will approach its investigation in a way which benefits members’ clients while also supporting veterinary teams to practise in a fair and regulated sector.

Although we encourage independent practices to engage proactively with the CMA, we appreciate the pressures that the investigation and accompanying news coverage can have on veterinary teams. We urge our members to get in touch if they have any concerns.

Rita Dingwall, FIVP’s business development manager, said: “As a voice for independent veterinary practices, we support measures to ensure a level playing field in the veterinary industry.

“We believe that transparency and competition are essential for driving innovation, supporting the diversity of veterinary practice types and improving standards of care for all animals.

“FIVP fully supports the CMA’s criticisms of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, which it says has prevented the market from functioning as well as it could. We applaud the campaigning of the BVA, and other organisations, as they push for reform which will make it fit for purpose and beneficial to both veterinary teams and their clients.

“We will continue to work with the CMA to uphold these principles and carry on serving our communities with integrity and professionalism.”