Political parties praised by British vets

The inclusion of animal health and welfare in the main political parties’ manifestos has been commended by the British Veterinary Association (BVA). 

Over half of the association’s own manifesto recommendations have been written into Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat priorities for the next government.

After news that the UK would be heading to the polling stations on 8 June, the BVA produced its own 20-point manifesto of key recommendations covering a series of topical discussions, including Brexit. Its action plan was sent to the UK’s main political parties’ manifesto teams, as well as to BVA’s parliamentary honorary associates and members.

The BVA prioritised four main areas of focus for the parties to consider. They are: to secure a successful outcome for animal health and welfare after Brexit; safeguard animal health; promote animal welfare; and to recognise the vital role of veterinary surgeons.

“This general election, which has Brexit at its core, is a real opportunity to ensure the most pressing animal health and welfare issues are high on the next government’s agenda,” commented BVA president Gudrun Ravetz.

“While we are a relatively small profession, our critical and far-reaching roles in animal health, welfare and public health mean we are uniquely placed to offer the next government evidence-based and informed advice and policy recommendations. Months of hard work by the Brexit working group, and the quick issue of our manifesto to the main political parties, enabled us to secure commitments on the profession’s animal health and welfare priorities from all of the main political parties – whichever of them might take government after 8 June.”

The first request the BVA had for the parties was to guarantee the working right for non-British EU vets and veterinary nurses working and studying in the UK and vice versa. This was addressed in both the Liberal Democrat and Labour parties’ manifestos, while the Conservatives said it would secure the status of EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU.

Another issue tackled by the three parties was the need for a commitment towards animal welfare in trade. They have all made stronger commitments to secure the UK as a globally attractive place for research and development.

A general election toolkit has been launched for BVA members, including the association’s own 2017 manifesto, a template letter and a series of questions that could be posed to prospective parliamentary candidates at local events.
You can read more about the parties’ manifestos here

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