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Government will make veterinary medicines a priority
Veterinary medicines have been classified as 'critical goods'.
Veterinary medicines categorised as ‘critical goods’

The Government has confirmed that it will make veterinary medicines a priority in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

A policy paper published on Monday (11 March) has classified veterinary medicines as ‘critical goods’ and has given them Category 1 status. Critical goods are those which are critical to the preservation of human or animal welfare.

The government also confirmed that is has secured contracts with Brittany Ferries and DFDS to run ferries into and out of Poole, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Immingham and Felixstowe. This will help to relieve potential pressure on the Dover Straits and help ensure that critical goods continue to enter the UK.

Welcoming the announcement, RSPCA chief veterinary officer Caroline Allen said “We are encouraged that the import of animal medicines will be prioritised in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  

“We have been very concerned that there could be interruptions to the supply chain of drug supplies used in our veterinary hospitals and other vets if we leave the EU without a trade deal. So we have been urging the government to prioritise the welfare and health of those animals most in need.”

She continued: “Brexit is likely to have far-reaching implications for all aspects of animal welfare as we have seen through the Sentience Bill and changes to the Common Agricultural Policy. But we believe the Government’s decision to add veterinary medicines to the ‘critical goods’ list of items considered essential for the preservation of human and animal welfare is a small step in the right direction to mitigate the negative effects a no-deal Brexit could have on animal welfare.

“However, the devil will be in the detail. The RSPCA remains concerned that veterinary surgeons, unlike veterinary drugs, have not be added to the critical list, and any shortage will greatly impact on animal welfare especially in the slaughter of farm animals. It’s important that welfare, rather than economics, is put first and that the medicines apply to all types of animals, both large and small.”

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.