Northern Ireland’s vets have called on the country’s national assembly candidates to maintain an all-island approach to tackling animal diseases post-Brexit.
With campaigning for next week’s NI assembly election in full swing, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and BVA Northern Ireland Branch have launched a manifesto urging incoming parliamentarians to ensure that the impact of the UK’s EU referendum does not have a detrimental effect on the All-island Animal Health and Welfare Strategy, particularly essential partnership working and plans like the all-island approach to tackling disease.
BVA’s ‘The veterinary profession’s manifesto Northern Ireland 2017 – 2022’ draws on the “expertise and experiences” of BVA’s members working throughout Northern Ireland and in all areas of the veterinary profession, making recommendations in three key areas:
- safeguarding animal health,
- promoting animal welfare, and
- recognising the vital role of veterinary surgeons.
“The veterinary profession in Northern Ireland looks forward to the valuable contribution our expertise can make to Northern Ireland’s economy through the agri-food industry,” said BVA Northern Ireland Branch President, Jean Wales. “We equally look forward to continuing to advise the government on matters of animal welfare.”
BVA President, Gudrun Ravetz, added: “In all countries in the UK, the veterinary team brings a unique insight to the health and welfare of animals. It is from this position that we offer Northern Ireland’s next government evidence-based advice and recommendations for animal health and welfare policy.
“We therefore urge the next government and MLAs of all parties to join together to make sure the UK’s decision to leave the EU does not affect the strong all-island work that protects and promotes animal health and welfare and supports agricultural industry on both sides of the border.”