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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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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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News Shorts
BEVA survey seeks views about antibiotic use in horses

Equine vets are being invited to participate in a BEVA survey that aims to find out more about antimicrobial resistance in equine veterinary practice.

Designed by researchers at the University of Liverpool and incoming BEVA president Tim Mair, the survey aims to fill gaps in knowledge about how antimicrobials are being used in equine practice and the landscape of resistant infections encountered in equine practice.

Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.