Animal health and welfare are also ‘public goods’, say vets

British Veterinary Association president John Fishwick has outlined the veterinary vision for post-Brexit agricultural policy.

Responding to the Michael Gove’s speech at the Oxford Farming Conference, Fishwick said there should be a greater focus on animal welfare.

BVA President John Fishwick said: “Delivering public goods should be at the heart of a new post Brexit agricultural policy, benefiting producers, consumers and wider society.

“Mr Gove has committed to investing in the public goods of the natural environment, technology and skills, infrastructure, public access and rural resilience. Yet any post Brexit agricultural policy must also support animal health and welfare as public goods, since these are the very reasons that we have our global reputation for agricultural produce and high standards.

“In equipping the next generation of farmers with the latest tech and training, we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of continued side-by-side working between farmers and local vets in order to optimise animal health and welfare, productivity and competitiveness.

“Vets are integral to food production, from farm to fork, and so vets must also be an integral part of any policy development, review and implementation.

“While Brexit presents an opportunity to tailor our agricultural policy, coordination and oversight across the UK remains crucial. We are keen to hear how agricultural policy, including animal health and welfare challenges, will be jointly tackled by the four administrations of the UK.”

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