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New animal and plant safety measures announced
The new rules apply to the UK while it remains a member of the European Union and during any transition period.

Measures designed to modernise and improve food safety standards

The UK government has announced a series of measures ‘aimed at modernising protections against animal diseases and plant pests as well as improving food safety’.

The new EU Smarter rules for safer food regulations will come into force at 11 pm on Friday, 13 December 2019.

A Defra press release reads: ‘The package will modernise, simplify and improve existing health and safety standards for the agri-food chain. It will take a risk-based approach to animal, plant and public health protection, introducing more efficient pest and disease control measures.

The new regulations are split into two areas and will affect businesses in the following industries:
- the Official Controls Regulation (OCR) applying to all UK businesses involved in trade in animals and products of animal origin (POAO)
- the Plant Health Regulation (PHR) applying to all UK businesses involved in the production, manufacture, supply and regulation of plants, seeds, timber and plant products.’

Businesses affected by these changes have already been contacted by Defra and are being urged to prepare so they can continue to operate with the import and export of these products. The changes include:

- for animal and animal by-products businesses: Using an improved IT system TRACES (NT) to log imports from beyond the EU and new look import forms.
- for plant, seed and timber businesses: A large increase in the number of plant passports required as well as changes to the content and format of plant passport applications forms for businesses.

The new rules apply to the UK while it remains a member of the European Union and during any transition period. In the event of a Brexit no-deal, the regulations will be retained by the Withdrawal Act and will continue to apply subject to any Parliamentary amendments.


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 New rules came into force in England on Saturday (8 August) making it mandatory for clients to wear a face covering in veterinary practices.

The rules, which also apply to cinemas, museums and places of worship, follow a recent spike in coronavirus cases. All clients in England must now wear a face covering when inside a veterinary practice unless they are exempt for age, health or equality reasons. 

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BSAVA webinars to shine the spotlight on selected journal papers

A free series of webinars that take a closer look at selected papers published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice has been produced by the BSAVA.

In the new BSAVA Science webinar series, authors of the featured papers discuss their results with a panel and how they may impact clinical practice. The authors then answer questions submitted by audience members.

The webinars are available via the BSAVA Webinar Library, covering four different papers. JSAP editor Nicola Di Girolamo, said: "Discussing the research with the authors - experts in their field - really helps to bring the papers to life."