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Farm vets to launch sustainability policy
"As farm vets, we are allied to a sector that acts as guardians of the countryside" - Elizabeth Berry, BCVA president.
BCVA responds to pledges made at the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

The British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) is to launch its own Sustainability Policy in the coming weeks, calling for a bespoke on-farm approach to achieve net zero in British farming. 

The announcement follows the pledge made by world leaders at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to cut methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. 

In its response, the BCVA ‘broadly welcomes’ the commitment but questions the ‘inevitable commentary that places a disproportionate emphasis on agriculture’s role’.

The response reads: ‘Just 100 companies have been identified as the source of more than 70 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, and there isn’t a farm amongst them. 

‘The Carbon Majors report demonstrated that a relatively small set of fossil fuel producers hold the key to turning around the planet’s carbon emissions, yet so many headlines on this subject focus on the impact of agriculture, even though we know that in the UK our farms amount about one-tenth of UK greenhouse gas emissions – and just six per cent if only considering livestock farming.’

It continued: ‘To have conversations about sustainability that can contribute to real change, it is vital that we take an evidence-based approach – one that understands the science and realises that biogenic methane, the kind produced by cattle, is not the same as the methane produced by fossil fuels.’

The BCVA believes that efforts to reduce net-zero should take place on-farm, with a focus on health and welfare, biodiversity, soil health, water management, diffuse pollution, and social, ethical, and economic factors. 

'This must be achieved without outsourcing our environmental footprint via imports produced to lower standards, the BCVA said. 'High welfare food production and food security should remain the goal.'

BCVA president, Elizabeth Berry, said: “As farm vets, we are allied to a sector that acts as guardians of the countryside, and our farm clients understand their crucial role in the management of soil, water, nitrogen, and carbon cycles and, in turn, the biodiversity of the UK’s farmland.

“We work alongside our colleagues in UK agriculture to drive increased efficiency in both the dairy and beef sectors by providing preventive healthcare and treatment. We all share a commitment to meet welfare standards, safeguarding public health and creating an environment that meets our needs today without compromising the ability of future generations to thrive.” 

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VET Festival returns for 2022

News Story 1
 VET Festival, the unique CPD opportunity, is returning for 2022, running from 20 to 21 May.

The outdoor event, held at Loseley Park in Guildford, will feature 17 education streams, with a dedicated stream covering veterinary wellness, leadership and management topics. The festival will feature veterinary speakers from around the world, with the opportunity to collect 14 hours of CPD across the two-day event.

Alongside veterinary education, VET Festival will also offer wellbeing activities such as yoga and mindfulness activities, with the popular VETFest Live Party Night making a return for 2022.

Tickets available here.  

Click here for more...
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Avian influenza housing order declared in Yorkshire

A new avian influenza prevention zone has been declared in North Yorkshire following the identification of H5N1 avian influenza at a number of premises.

The requirement means all bird keepers in Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire are now legally required to keep their birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures.

Several other cases of H5N1 avian influenza have also been confirmed in recent days at sites in Essex, Cheshire and Cumbria. On Monday (22 November), the disease was identified near Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk.