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Working group set up to safeguard NI vet medicines supply
The news has been welcomed by the BVA.
Vets in Northern Ireland could lose access to over half of veterinary medicines.

The UK government is to set up a new working group to find a long-term solution to the issue of supplying veterinary medicine to Northern Ireland.

As things stand, veterinary surgeons in Northern Ireland could lose access to an estimated 51 per cent of veterinary medicines once a temporary post-Brexit agreement between the UK and the EU ends at the end of 2025.

Set up as part of a deal to restore power-sharing in the Northern Ireland Assembly, the new Veterinary Medicines Working Group will explore ways to safeguard the supply of veterinary medicines to Northern Ireland. The group will be made up of elected representatives, farming and industry representatives, and legal and trade experts and will report its findings ‘urgently’.

The UK government has also said it plans to introduce legislation in the spring to avoid new regulatory divergence between Great Britain and Northern Ireland on veterinary medicines.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA), which recently gave evidence to a House of Lord’s committee about the risks to human and animal health once the current deal expires, has welcomed the latest development.

Esther Skelly-Smith, BVA Northern Ireland branch president, said: “The British Veterinary Association has been highlighting the serious threat to Northern Ireland’s access to veterinary medicines for some time and therefore it’s good to see the government commit to finding practical, long-term solutions. We have also continued to call for more dialogue between the UK government and EU Commission on this issue.

“The new Veterinary Medicines Working Group is an important step towards safeguarding supply, which if left unaddressed will have serious and far-reaching consequences for the veterinary profession, the farming and equine sectors, as well as public health.

“It is only by a willingness to look carefully and creatively for possible solutions that the ongoing protection of Northern Ireland’s animal and public health and vital agricultural industry will be ensured.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.