Animal welfare enters election debate

The British Veterinary Association (BVA), including its Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh branches, has launched three manifestos urging parliamentarians to act upon animal health and welfare under a One Health agenda for government, ahead of next month’s national elections in the three areas of the UK. 

The suggested guidelines outlined by the BVA have been developed drawing on the expertise and experience of the organisation’s members, working across the UK in all sectors of the industry. Three key areas that have been addressed are: safeguarding animal health, promoting animal welfare and recognising the vital role of veterinary surgeons.

“As veterinary surgeons we are on the frontline caring for animals, detecting and treating disease, and undertaking pioneering research into animal and public health,” said BVA president Sean Wensley.

“We work at the cutting edge of science and at the heart of the communities in which we practise, guiding animal keepers and owners towards good animal welfare decisions and helping to maintain the strong human-animal bond.”

The manifestos set out a number of policy recommendations that provide the government with a clear pathway towards improving animal health, including the industry’s approach to slaughter and the eradication of diseases.

“The UK prides itself on high, continuously improving animal welfare standards and voters care deeply about animal health and welfare issues, so we urge the incoming national governments to include this in their agendas and champion the concept of One Health in recognition of the inextricable links between animals, humans, and our shared living environment,” continued Wensley.

“Through our daily work, and these manifestos, we believe vets are in a unique position from which to offer the next governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales evidence-based and informed advice and policy recommendations.”

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