Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Health and welfare high on list of government priorities

January 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Livestock

Animal health companies have welcomed a government commitment to amend veterinary medicine regulations after the UK leaves the European Union.

The Queen’s Speech contains a commitment to allocate parliamentary time to update requirements relating to veterinary medicines. The government says doing so could help  “break new ground” in complex clinical trials.

In response, Dawn Howard, of the National Office for Animal Health, suggested changing the regulations could help encourage a vibrant and innovative UK animal health sector – including the development of new and improved animal health products for farmers.

“Brexit means a robust, sensible and proportionate UK regulatory system – firmly based on internationally recognised science and technical expertise – is more important than ever,” said Ms Howard.

“We have emphasised that parliamentary time will be needed to review the veterinary medicines legislation and help ensure opportunities that [Brexit] may present come to fruition, and are pleased to see this has been specifically included within the Medical and Medical Devices Bill”.

Strong position

She added: “The UK is in a strong position to be a global centre of excellence for animal medicines – part of any leading life sciences global hub, supporting both cutting edge product developments and a regulatory model to benefit our national and international trade.”

Ms Howard said NOAH was also pleased that the importance of animal welfare was included in government plans – within both the Agriculture and the Environment Bills. “Improved animal health is, of course, integral to improved animal welfare”, she she said.

In relation to agriculture, NOAH’s Vision Paper for Animal Health and Welfare sets out the association’s ambition for the development of a new chapter in UK agriculture policy. This would improve the health and welfare of UK livestock, she suggested.

“Taking an animal health perspective will help deliver the benefits in terms of welfare that the Bill aims to achieve, as well as supporting productivity, sustainability and resilience of farms – all helping to prepare for changes in trading outside the EU.”

Informal plans

The British Veterinary Association has called on the government to keep animal welfare high on the agenda during this parliament. The government has set out informal plans to reward farmers for animal welfare as a public good – and end excessively long journeys for livestock.

BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said: “The Prime Minister talked a lot about improving animal welfare standards during the General Election campaign and it is essential that the government keeps these issues high on the agenda.”

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