CEF 17 2023 Recent Vet Visit
It has been brought to my attention that on Saturday 19th September a veterinarian was traveling through from the Falklands to the UK. While in transit, the vet saw two dogs on island for treatment.
My question is why was this service not made available to all other pet owners? As manager of the cat database, I am aware of cats which are currently undergoing health issues that would have greatly benefitted from some veterinary advice. While I appreciate that this was a rare case and that the individual had limited time and capacity, if this was opened up fairly to all pet owners, a priority list could have been drawn up to benefit the animals in most need.
My other question is whether or not Ascension can develop relations with the Falkland Islands which would allow a veterinarian travelling through to perhaps stop for several days to see animals on island? The current set-up with St Helena vet means long periods between visits and the practice offer little support remotely through answering of emails. Given that animals travelling from the UK require paperwork that is signed by the Falkland Islands vet, it would make most sense that they are more familiar with the animals on island. This is also true of animals that leave Ascension via the FIRS and travel through the Falklands, again a familiarity of these cases may be in the best interests of the animals involved.
Regarding the limited veterinary service provided on September 19th, it should be noted that this was a private arrangement conducted by MOD staff, and did not involve the Ascension Island Government (AIG).
Regarding the possibility of developing veterinary relations with the Falkland Islands, the suggestion is appreciated and will be taken forward. The feasibility of such arrangements can be better explored once transit flights between Falkland Islands and St Helena via Ascension have been formally agreed.
Submitted: 22 August 2023
Response: 13 September 2023