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Vets set out vision for post-Brexit trade
"We want to see the UK and EU working together closely to grasp the opportunities ahead" - Justine Shotton, BVA president.
BVA outlines recommendations for international trade in live animals.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has set out its vision for making international trade in live animals and animal products run as efficiently as possible.

In a new position statement, BVA outlines several recommendations for decision-makers in the UK and EU for simplifying processes and making assurance systems more efficient. Among these include:

  • making better use of veterinary workforce capacity
  • exploring support roles for allied professionals working alongside vets, and
  • fast-tracking the digitisation of certification processes.
The position follows years of engagement with the profession, farmers, governments and the food industry on these issues following BVA’s 2017 Brexit and the Veterinary Profession report.

BVA has previously warned over the soaring demand for export health certificates post-Brexit, current shortfalls in capacity, and how this could cause significant problems for the profession.

To ease the burden on the workforce, BVA is calling on the government to work with stakeholders on a plan to ensure that the UK has the required veterinary capacity and that it can facilitate international trade and other essential tasks.

The organisation is also calling on the government to explore opportunities for making better use of allied professionals, including certification support officers, for supporting the work under the direction of veterinary teams.

It recommends steps to simplify the process of veterinary certification and a need for vets and businesses receive clear guidance on transitioning to digital processes.

The position also highlights a need for a strong collaboration between the UK and the EU and for the government to engage with vets, farmers and processors to pinpoint opportunities to simplify trade requirements.

Finally, the position highlights a requirenment for Great Britain to set its own imports regime that meets its own biosecurity needs, adding that delaying or cancelling the introduction of import checks could “wreak havoc” for disease prevention. 

BVA president Justine Shotton, said: “In launching our position today, we’re bringing together the collective wisdom of many people working within and alongside the veterinary profession to keep trade running smoothly and to high health, welfare and safety standards. We want to see the UK and EU working together closely to grasp the opportunities ahead, as well as acknowledging and ironing out some of the considerable issues we face in terms of capacity and making the most of existing resources.

“The UK government is making some welcome steps in the right direction to maximise resources and make systems more efficient, including introducing a certification support officer role and putting digitisation high on the agenda. Going forward into what is new and uncharted territory, it’s vital that they continue to engage closely with vets, who are so central to the process and our future success on the global stage.”

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on outside of these times."  

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Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit