The British Veterinary Association has highlighted the key role that vets have to play in furthering the sustainable animal agriculture agenda in the UK. In its latest Voice of the Veterinary Profession Survey, 89% of vets said that they would like to play a more active role in this area.
The new BVA position on UK sustainable animal agriculture highlights the integral role of vets in animal agriculture and provides an action plan for vets to take action in their day-to-day lives. It says that the veterinary profession and those in the farming industry should work closely to ensure that animal health and welfare are front of mind in efforts to improve sustainability.
The position recognises that farming animals can result in significant environmental challenges and recommends that to reduce impact on the environment, changes to the way in which we farm animals for food must be made.
BVA president, Simon Doherty, said:“Due to the integral part that vets play in animal agriculture and the food sector, they are well placed to advise and influence sustainable husbandry practices and management systems from farm to fork, with a view to better protect and conserve natural resources, wild species and biodiversity.”
In its recommendations, BVA said that any changes, new technologies or innovative methods used to achieve a more sustainable practice must not compromise animal health or welfare.
Mr Doherty said: “Vets are an integral part of the agriculture and food sector, providing preventive healthcare and treatment for livestock, carrying out disease surveillance, promoting good biodiversity and high animal welfare standards. They are well placed to advise on sustainable systems and husbandry practice and collaborate with their colleagues in the agricultural industry to work towards a more sustainable future for farming.”