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‘No deal’ Brexit notices fuel workforce concerns
The BVA continues to urge the government to add vets to the Shortage Occupation List, to help safeguard against shortfalls in capacity.

Impacts could be ‘keenly felt’ in small animal sector 

A no-deal Brexit could spell trouble for parts of the veterinary workforce, leading to a serious shortfall in vets who certify animals and animal products as they enter and exit the UK.

This is the warning from the BVA, after a series of technical notices were published by the government. Covering topics such as pet travel, animal exports and veterinary medicines, the notices aim to help businesses and citizens prepare for a no deal Brexit.

BVA president Simon Doherty commented: “We’ve been exploring the impact of Brexit for a long time, and today’s technical notices really underline how a no-deal situation could put a strain on large and crucial sections of the veterinary workforce.
“The risk of shortages of OVs working in abattoirs or carrying out certification is well documented, but the impacts could also be keenly felt in the small animal sector if new pet transport requirements lead to a surge in demand for vets to carry out rabies vaccination and testing prior to travel.”

Pet travel
In the event that a deal is not reached, pets will continue to travel between the UK and the EU, but the level of documentation and health checks are expected to rise. How much will depend on what category of third country the UK becomes.

The most dramatic changes would be seen if the UK is given ‘unlisted’ third country status. In this case, dogs, cats and ferrets would be required to undergo a rabies antibody titration test at least 30 days after vaccination, no fewer than three months before the travel date.

An animal health certificate issued by an official veterinarian will also be needed. It will be valid for 10 days from the issue date until entry into EU member states.

Animal exports
Exports of animals and animal products will be carried out assuming the UK is listed as an accepted third country. An Export Health Certificate (EHC), signed by an OV at the inspection point, will be needed for all exports of animal products and live animals from the UK to the EU.

Previous warnings suggested that a no deal Brexit could lead to a 325 per cent increase in the amount of products needing veterinary certification as they enter and leave the country.

A new domestic version of TRACES (Trade Control and Export System) will be introduced at the beginning of 2019. TRACES is a web-based veterinary certification tool used by the EU to control the import and export of live animals and products, within and without its borders. BVA said it is concerned that it has not been approached to assist with the testing and training process for the new system.

Serious shortfall
The BVA continues to urge the government to add vets to the Shortage Occupation List, to help safeguard against shortfalls in capacity. Nearly 50 per cent of vets registering to work in the UK each year are from the EU and 95 per cent of OVs working in abattoirs are from overseas, predominantly the EU.

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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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News Shorts
NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”