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Vets welcome new Trade and Agriculture Commission
The Commission will make recommendations for higher animal welfare standards across the world.
BVA warns that vets must remain at the heart of the project. 

Vets have welcomed the announcement of a new Trade and Agriculture Commission, announced by trade secretary Liz Truss on Monday (29 June).

The Advisory Commission will consider the policies that the UK Government should adopt in free trade agreements to ensure UK animal welfare and production standards are not undermined.

The commission will make recommendations for:
  • UK agricultural trade policy
  • higher animal welfare standards across the world
  • export opportunities for British farming.

BVA senior vice president Simon Doherty said: “The veterinary profession has always been clear that any new trade agreements must not undermine the UK’s high animal health and welfare standards. Along with our colleagues in the farming industry we have been pushing for this commitment to be enshrined in legislation.

“We welcome the new Trade and Agriculture Commission but it is essential that veterinary expertise is at the heart of its membership and remit. Vets are critical to facilitating international trade and are committed to protecting and enhancing animal health and welfare and public health.

“Although the Commission only has an advisory role it is important that its advice is genuinely listened to and acted on by the Government. There is huge public concern about a lowering of animal welfare standards and consumers need to have confidence in what they are buying.”

NOAH chief executive Dawn Howard also welcomed the announcement, commenting: “As we have outlined in our Vision for UK Animal Health and Welfare, high standards of animal health are an integral part of excellent animal welfare and food standards, something that British consumers expect and support.

“This move is a positive development: not only with the potential to deliver benefits in terms of animal welfare in the UK and beyond but to also support raising productivity, improved sustainability and resilience of UK farms – helping them to capitalise on opportunities for trading internationally and strengthening our food security.

“We look forward to supporting the Commission in matters relating to animal health,” she said.

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Defra extends applications to Zoo Animals Fund

News Story 1
 Defra has extended the deadline for applications for the 100 Million Zoo Animals Fund until 26 February 2021.

Launched in June 2020, the fund provides financial support for zoos and aquariums that have experienced a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to 730,000 are available, which can be used to pay for essential costs and maintenance, including veterinary care, medicines, animal feed and staffing.

More information about the fund and details of how to apply can be found here

Click here for more...
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APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at gov.uk