Brexit and beyond: a strong future for animal health

Today’s NOAH conference brought together around 100 delegates from across the animal health sector to discuss and debate the future of animal health, as EU Exit negotiations continue.

The conference, chaired by Lord Trees, examined progress so far and sentiment across the sector ahead of NOAH’s next Brexit Barometer report. It discussed future policy and explored opportunities for our sector.

The event opened with an update on progress on the UK’s exit from the UK and what needs to be done to secure a successful UK industry.

Dawn Howard, NOAH’s chief executive, opened outlining the results of a recent preparedness study undertaken with NOAH members, and launched NOAH’s new animation ‘Thriving in the post-Brexit landscape’.

Other speakers in this session were Rick Clayton, technical director, AnimalhealthEurope; John Keogh, director, APHA, Ireland and Prof Quintin McKellar, vice chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire. The presentation was rounded off by NFU president, Minette Batters.

The second session considered future policy for our sector as we move into a post-Brexit world. Speakers included Noel Joseph, head of international office, VMD and Sarah Nightingale, consultant at GAFTA, who gave an introduction to WTO.

Ms Howard then gave an update on NOAH’s Animal Medicines Best Practice Project, with training for farmers on antibiotic use, in the context of the UK’s AMR strategy.

Ms Howard said: “There are undoubtedly opportunities which are within our industry’s grasp as the Brexit process unfolds, and our future looks exciting. However, if we leave the EU with no deal, there are real concerns relating to potential impact on innovation, product availability and choice for UK prescribers and animal keepers, as there may be fewer new medicines entering the UK market and fewer improvements to existing medicines.”

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