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Welsh vets offered training to provide EHCs after Brexit
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there will be a significant increase in the need for vets who can carry out certification.
Government allocates funding to prepare for EU exit with no deal 

Veterinary surgeons in Wales are being given training to provide Export Health Certificates (EHCs) in case of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

The Welsh Government allocated £96,000 of the £50 million EU transition fund to support the need for Export Health Certification and encourage vets to undertake training.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, EHCs will be required to export produce of animal origin to EU countries, prompting a significant increase in the need for vets who are able to carry out certification.

Usually, the necessary training is paid for by the veterinary surgeon undertaking the course, but the Welsh Government is hoping to provide an incentive for more vets.

A new scheme is supporting training for a minimum of 80 vets across Wales. More vets are expected to sign up before training completes at the end of February. The scheme will be administered by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, in collaboration with delivery partners lechyd Da and Menter a Busnes.

Lesley Griffiths, Welsh minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, said: “It is possible– if a no deal is taken off the table this extra capacity will not be required but we must prepare for all eventualities.  However, the training would not have been wasted as the skills are transferable and would strengthen the important certification role of the veterinary profession in Wales."

She added: “We have always been clear a no deal Brexit is not an option for Wales’ food industry. Crashing out of the European Union could decimate economies and must be avoided at all costs. Our preference would be a ‘softer’ Brexit – one that allows us to stay in a customs union and a single market.

“With no new ideas and red lines firmly still in place, the UK Government is simply running down the clock in a vain hope that their deal will pass. They must take decisive action now and act on the majority will of Parliament to rule out no deal.”

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”