The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is calling on all political parties to include a list of 10 pledges in their manifestos for the upcoming General Election.
The 10 pledges, including rejecting a no-deal Brexit, are available at www.bva.co.uk/manifesto. The pledges are based on BVA animal welfare campaigns, including on animal sentience, non-stun slaughter, and illegal puppy imports, BVA’s commitment to evidence-based disease control, and the ongoing drive to improve recruitment and retention in the veterinary profession.
The pledges were unveiled at a private briefing for MPs and Peers in Westminster. The event was hosted by BVA honorary associate Ben Lake MP (Ceredigion) who called on fellow politicians to engage with BVA, describing the association as “a font of knowledge and advice and assistance” in today’s “hurly burly world”.
The 10 pledges are:
- Reject a no-deal Brexit;
- Boost the veterinary workforce;
- Protect all animals in law;
- Protect UK welfare standards in future trade deals and agri policies;
- Protect the welfare of animals at slaughter;
- Strengthen legislation against illegal puppy imports;
- Commit to evidence-based disease control;
- Introduce a single database for microchip registration;
- Ban primates as pets; and
- Put animal welfare on the national curriculum.
BVA has written to all major political parties to ask them to adopt the pledges in their General Election manifestos.
BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said:“We are at a critical time for animal health and welfare, and the future of our profession. All major political parties recognise that animal welfare is a key issue for voters so it’s essential that they adopt sound, evidence-based policies in their manifestos.
“Our manifesto of 10 pledges draws together the most pressing topical issues that matter to our members. Unsurprisingly, Brexit has taken the top slot. BVA has not taken a position in favour of leave or remain, but our Council reviewed the evidence and concluded that a no-deal Brexit would have serious consequences for our workforce, and animal health and welfare.”
She added: “We know there is cross-party support for many of the animal welfare measures in our manifesto, such as enshrining sentience in UK law, but we need to see a real commitment to action. We’re looking forward to engaging with all parties to put these policies into effect.
“During the campaign, we’re calling on election candidates to talk to vets in their local communities to better understand the veterinary workforce and welfare issues in our profession.”