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Veterinary industry issues 'Brexit negotiation plea', Sudbury and Suffolk

Author: Farminguk Published: 14th November 2017 10:29


Veterinary industry issues 'Brexit negotiation plea'

Brexit negotiators must not jeopardise the current high levels of animal health and welfare enjoyed across the UK, according to a plea issued by the veterinary industry.

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) has issued its ‘Brexit negotiation plea' ahead of the next round of negotiations in Brussels this week.

The plea, developed in partnership with the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), emphasises the role the veterinary profession plays in public goods, like animal health and welfare, food safety and antimicrobial resistance.

The plea outlines key asks of EU and UK politicians and decision makers, including urging the government to pledge continued mutual recognition of veterinary degrees from EAEVE (European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education) accredited veterinary schools.

The plea urges the government to ensure no reduction in the availability of veterinary medicines, to avoid supply difficulties and guarantee the protection of animal and public health.

It also urges continuing of current levels of animal health, animal welfare and food safety standards, which include a single standard for import and export markets underpinned by veterinary certification and controls.

Veterinary degrees

The top ask from the organisations is for continued mutual recognition of veterinary degrees, given the mobility of the profession across Europe.

With over half of vets registering in the UK each year coming from overseas, mostly the EU, securing the existing living and working rights of all EU and UK vets is seen as crucial to ensure that current standards of animal and public health are maintained post-Brexit.

It follows news of the announcement of the possibility of a new veterinary school being established, offering training amid concerns over the possibility over a lack of veterinary workforce post-Brexit.

FVE President Rafael Laguens said: "Infectious diseases don't respect borders, so assuring animal health, public health, food safety and animal welfare require an international approach.

"They cannot be solved at national level alone. More than ever a continued close collaboration within the European veterinary profession and with international stakeholders is essential for ensuring the interests of animals and people everywhere.

"As we move forwards, we must be careful to maintain the important achievements reached together in the past decades."

Official Veterinarians

The European and UK veterinary organisations also highlight that, for every animal or animal product that is imported or exported, specially trained Official Veterinarians must certify and supervise the process to and from third countries, facilitating smooth trade.

According to the UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens, the volume of products requiring veterinary certifications could increase by as much as 325%.

The plea calls for the EU and UK to commit to a single standard for animal products destined for domestic or export markets.

A single standard that includes veterinary controls and certifications will avoid the confusion and the opportunity for fraud that is associated with multiple parallel standards, avoid compromised animal welfare, and ensure consumer confidence in the UK, across the EU, and globally.

Other key asks within the plea include ensuring no reduction in the availability of medicines, particularly in light of the fact that some countries heavily rely on joint licensing and packaging with the UK, and securing ongoing surveillance data sharing, such as antibiotic resistance monitoring and systems to track infectious transmissible diseases.

FVE represents veterinary organisations from 38 EU and non-EU countries, including the UK. Post-Brexit, the UK - namely the RCVS and BVA - will continue to be FVE members and collaborate on priority issues for the veterinary profession in the UK and across Europe.




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