NOAH Chair Gaynor Hillier has emphasised the need for business clarity as the UK exits the EU.
Speaking at the association’s annual dinner in London, Ms Hillier said: “Last year we celebrated our 30th year as an association. And when we enjoyed our dinner that evening, we did not imagine that NOAH’s key priorities would be framed by the UK’s exit from the EU.
“Indeed, at least 40 per cent of NOAH’s work is now spent on Brexit-related topics – a situation very possibly shared by many others in our sector and beyond.”
NOAH’s Brexit Conference, held earlier in the day, looked at how the animal health industry is progressing, what needs to be done and how attitudes have shifted in the past six months.
She added: “We have reviewed Brexit through six different lenses – some aspects with optimism, some with more concern – but still the over-riding factor is that, despite all the hard work within industry and government – we still don’t know what Brexit will look like.
“Business needs certainty. We need to be able to plan. We welcome what’s being done, but need more clarity – animal medicine companies are making decisions right now about their businesses – even presence – in the UK.
“Animal health is an integral part of welfare. This is the area where our industry shows the most optimism for the future. The industry is united in seeking to maintain the high health and welfare standards for our livestock and pet populations. But for our livestock, we need to ensure our high standards are not undermined by cheap food imports and that our farmers have access to the tools they need in order to provide the quality food and environment demanded by society. We now have a real opportunity to incentivise high standards of UK farm animal health and welfare. Let’s all be a part of the success for UK animal health and welfare.”