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BVA critical of report into UK vets’ fees

A REPORT highlighting a wide variation in fees charged by vets in the UK for routine operations on cats and dogs has been published by consumer watchdog Which?. The anonymous telephone survey of vet fees, at almost 300 surgeries across the country, found the cost of spaying a labrador bitch varied between £98 and £255.

Perhaps inevitably, the report has been criticised by the British Veterinary Association.
Which? found huge variations from region to region. The cheapest place to visit a vet was found to be Northern Ireland at roughly 30% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK. Unsurprisingly, London and the Southeast was the most expensive overall.

For a basic pet check-up, a Which? reporter was quoted fees ranging from £11.91 to £24.81. Cat booster fees ranged from £18.19 to £37.27.

It pays to shop around. The report found that fees within individual surgeries were not consistent. A vet's check-up fee might fall into the low cost range but its fees for an operation might well be at the high-end of the scale.

The BVAsaid it gave the report a cautious welcome but its President David Catlow commented: ‘The report gives an indication of the variety and choice of veterinary services available but doesn't make clear and emphasise enough in its cost comparisons the different levels of service, equipment and nursing involved in constructing that fee. We encourage animal owners to inform themselves of the factors that add value to the provision of high quality veterinary services when making their choice.’

With thanks to Steve O’Malley,
UK Pets