Safeguarding animal health and welfare and the UK’s veterinary workforce are at the forefront of the Brexit priorities, newly approved by the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
The association has told the UK Government that it must ensure existing animal health and welfare, public health, veterinary medicines, workforce, and environmental protection standards are at least maintained as part of negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union.
It also urged the Government to seek opportunities to improve standards in accordance with evidence-based risk analysis of animal health, welfare and ethics.
The BVA’s Brexit Working Group, chaired by former UK Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Alick Simmons, has listed the following areas as being key to its negotiating priorities:
- veterinary workforce issues
- animal health
- animal welfare
- food hygiene and safety
- veterinary medicines
- research and development
“From the outset, one of our key priorities has been seeking reassurance for the many EU vets and vet nurses who are making an invaluable contribution in the UK across many areas of animal health and welfare, and particularly in the area of public health,” said BVA President, Gudrun Ravetz (pictured above), adding that the association will work to ensure the voice of the veterinary profession is heard during any negotiations and discussions which take place.
BVA also said that any public money, released to replace the EU Common Agricultural Policy, should be used to support and incentivise public goods, encompassing at least animal health and welfare, disease surveillance, biodiversity and environmental stewardship.