The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has added its weight to calls for clarity on the arrangements for the movement of animals and animal products after the transition period, as the UK and European Union enter the seventh round of negotiations.
The BVA is warning that preparations for veterinary checks on exports and imports, as well as new rules for pet travel movements, cannot start until the UK and EU have reached an agreement.
BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said the association has previously raised concerns about the UK’s preparedness for a no-deal Brexit ahead of the signing of the Withdrawal Agreement.
She said: “As we enter the next round of negotiations we simply can’t know if the veterinary profession is ready for EU Exit, because we don’t yet know what level of veterinary checks on imports and exports will be required.
“Veterinary certification is an essential part of trade. It ensures consumer confidence in products by protecting animal health and welfare and public health. If we don’t have enough vets with the right qualifications in the right places, it could have a significant impact on UK industry.”
She continued: “We remain concerned that if the UK cannot reach agreement with the EU, we won’t have the capacity to meet the increased demand for veterinary certification. A huge amount is at stake and we need urgent clarity to give our sector time to prepare.”