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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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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.