NOAH welcomes Theresa Villiers as new Secretary of State at Defra

The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) said it looks forward to working with Theresa Villiers, the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and her team, to promote high standards of UK animal health and welfare.

Dawn Howard, NOAH’s chief executive, said: “Leaving the EU without a deal presents a serious risk to the seamless supply of the medicines our animals need to protect their health and prevent disease and suffering, despite the extensive preparation for this eventuality that our members and government departments have carried out. We are keen to continue working with Government to develop more detailed plans to safeguard supplies,” she said.

“Government now has the opportunity to take decisive action to increase farming resilience to ensure the long-term future for those farming to UK’s high health and welfare standards, as well as ensuring continued access to medicines for our vets, farmers and pet owners, as we leave the EU and beyond.”

Looking towards a new chapter in UK agriculture policy and the opportunity to marry increased productivity and a healthier environment, the future could mean farmers can be incentivised to deliver higher standards of animal health and welfare as a public good.

Ms Howard added: “We need to champion a regulatory environment in the UK to enable the tools to support these higher standards of animal health, not only for our farm livestock but for our pets too. Measures to encourage innovation in the veterinary medicines field will be vital. We will continue with the veterinary sector’s good work in the fight against antibiotic resistance as a priority, with a parallel need to ensure the value of vaccines in disease prevention is recognised.

“The health and welfare of animals is vital to society; they are an essential part of our food supply chain, and much-loved companions to ourselves and our families. NOAH’s vision is to be at the forefront of UK animal health and welfare.”

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