Vets join calls for no-deal Brexit to be taken off the table

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is calling for no-deal Brexit to be taken off the negotiating table following detailed analysis of the potential impact on animal health and welfare.

The new position, agreed at BVA Council on Thursday 19 September, builds on BVA’s ongoing role in informing members and stakeholders about the challenges and opportunities presented by Brexit. BVA has not taken a position on leave or remain.

Commenting, BVA President Daniella Dos Santos said:

“Our analysis of a no-deal Brexit found that there could be very serious consequences for animal health and welfare, trade, and our veterinary workforce. Although a lot of work has been done by Defra and a range of regulatory bodies to prepare, we are not convinced that enough has been done to mitigate the potential negative impacts.

“We remain deeply concerned that we won’t have the necessary workforce for veterinary export certification, that the loss of markets for trade could lead to overstocking and significant welfare problems or a cull of healthy animals, that border problems may hold up the supply of veterinary medicines, and that millions of pet owners still don’t know if they will be able to travel with their animals.

“We have also raised concerns that new trade deals could compromise the UK’s high animal health and welfare standards, and that the government has still not enshrined animal sentience into UK law.

“A no-deal Brexit would leave the UK with no time to transition and adjust with worrying outcomes for our colleagues, our clients, and the animals under our care.

“This is not a political position on leave or remain, but a pragmatic approach based on the available evidence. We urge the government to take the prospect of no-deal off the table.”