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BVA welcomes passing of Agriculture Bill into law
Under the new system, farmers will be rewarded for upholding higher animal welfare standards.

"It is essential that veterinary expertise and advice is at the heart of any new system" - James Russell, BVA president.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the passing of the Government's Agriculture Bill into UK law.

The Agriculture Bill sets out how farmers and land managers in England will be rewarded in the future with public money for “public goods”, such as better air and water quality, measures to reduce flooding and higher animal welfare standards.

A transition period will begin at the start of 2021, giving farmers a seven-year transition period to adapt to the new agricultural system. Further details about the Bill are expected to be announced in late November.

BVA President James Russell said: “We’re glad to see that the Agriculture Bill has now passed into law. Although it does not include all the assurances that we had hoped for on international trade deals, it is important that the remit of the Trade and Agriculture Commission has been strengthened. We are keen to engage with the Commission in the future to make sure that the breadth of veterinary expertise is heard.

“One of the most important elements of the Agriculture Act is how England will deliver its post-CAP policy. BVA secured assurances early on that animal health and welfare would be considered public goods and we are pleased to be involved in discussions about how this will be delivered, in practice."

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.”

Environment secretary George Eustice said: “Our landmark Agriculture Act will transform the way we support farmers.

"The funds released as a result of the phasing out of the legacy Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be re-invested into a roll out of our future farming policy, which will be centred around support aimed at incentivising sustainable farming practices, creating habitats for nature recovery and supporting the establishment of new woodland and other ecosystem services to help tackle challenges like climate change.”


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RCVS launches photo contest for Mental Health Awareness Week

News Story 1
 The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is holding a photo competition for Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight the link between the natural world and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can prevent people from seeking help. This year's theme is nature - notably the connection between the natural world and better mental health.

The RCVS is calling on aspiring photographers to submit a photo on this theme to Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, at with a short explanation about their submission and why nature improves their mental health and wellbeing.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
WSAVA to host free webinar on illegal online puppy trade

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced a free webinar to update veterinary professionals across Europe about the illegal online puppy trade. Taking place on Tuesday, 25 May, the webinar will also discuss the importance of the new EU Animal Health Law to help prevent illegal pet sales and make sellers accountable for their actions.

WSAVA chair Dr Natasha Lee said: "Veterinary professionals regularly have to deal with the repercussions of illicit breeding and trading when presented with clinically ill and sometimes dying puppies and distraught owners. Our webinar will equip veterinarians in Europe with the knowledge to play their part in upholding the new legislation and to contribute to new solutions for regulating the online puppy trade."

For more details visit