BVA president probes impact of Brexit on animal health and welfare in Wales

Wales’ forward-thinking approach to veterinary education, policy-making and rural partnerships is achieving successes for animal health and welfare across Wales, said British Veterinary Association president Gudrun Ravetz in her speech at the BVA’s annual Welsh Dinner at Cardiff City Hall.

Addressing the dinner’s 70 guests, including guest speaker Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths AM, Assembly Members, key representatives from animal health and welfare organisations, and senior colleagues from across the veterinary profession, the BVA president acknowledged the “many unknown unknowns in the current political landscape”.

Speaking on Brexit, the BVA President said: “The outcome of the EU referendum last June had a profound impact on many of our veterinary colleagues.

“In Wales, one-fifth of the current veterinary workforce is made up of EU-graduated vets. This is why our first call was for the Government to guarantee the working rights for non-British EU vets and vet nurses currently working and studying in the UK, at the existing level, and with no time limit. And we were pleased to see this in many of the parties’ manifestos in the run up to last week’s general election.”

The BVA president highlighted commitments that Wales has already made in order to develop a strong veterinary workforce: “A strong veterinary workforce is vital to maintaining high animal welfare and food safety standards … And we look forward to the development of a new hub of veterinary expertise and excellence in Aberystwyth, which is bringing together the right resources to deliver training opportunities to Wales’s vets of tomorrow.”

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