The British Veterinary Association (BVA) said the new Defra Secretary of State Theresa Villiers must focus on key priorities of securing new legislation on animal sentience before the UK leaves the EU.
On animal sentience, BVA said it will be pressing for urgent action to secure this important principle into UK legislation. Former Defra Secretary Michael Gove pledged to bring a new law in before the UK left the EU but failed to take his draft legislation through Parliament.
BVA president Simon Doherty said BVA will also be seeking government action to improve welfare at slaughter, including a commitment to ban the export of meat and produce from non-stun slaughter, to secure tighter controls on the movement of pet animals, and to continue cross-sector efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance and support sustainable animal agriculture.
Mr Doherty said: “We welcome the appointment of Theresa Villiers and look forward to an early meeting to discuss the urgent issues of animal sentience, veterinary workforce, and the impact of no-deal on the animal health and welfare sector
“The new Prime Minister’s well-publicised deal or no-deal strategy means that we need a strong and well-informed voice in Cabinet championing animal health and welfare and understanding the veterinary role in public health and international trade.”