Veterinary input was vital to new Agriculture Bill, says BVA
The BVA has welcomed news that the UK Agriculture Bill has become law after over 100 hours of parliamentary scrutiny.
An agricultural transition period will begin in 2021, marking a break away from the EU Common Agricultural Policy and farmers will have a seven-year transition period, with more details due to be announced in late November.
During the passage of the Bill, the BVA campaigned alongside farmers and animal welfare and environmental organisations to insert clauses into the legislation to prevent the undermining of British animal welfare standards in future trade deals.
Commenting on the development, the BVA President, James Russell said that although the Bill didn’t include all the provisions that the Association had been campaigning for, it was important that the remit of the Trade and Agriculture Commission had been strengthened:
‘We are keen to engage with the Commission in the future to make sure that the breadth of veterinary expertise is heard,’ added Mr Russell.
Pointing out that the BVA had received assurances that animal health and welfare would be considered as public goods post-CAP, Mr Russell said he was pleased that the Association would be involved in discussions about how this will be delivered in practice, and he added:
‘It is essential that veterinary expertise and advice is at the heart of any new system to ensure that we continue to build on and protect UK standards of animal health and welfare and safeguard public health.’