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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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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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News Shorts
NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”