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Vets criticise 'deeply misguided' delay to post-Brexit import checks
"We urge the Government to abandon these plans and close off the threat of causing significant damage to our food and farming industries" - James Russell, BVA.
BVA warns pushing back checks will open the door to diseases such as African Swine Fever.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued a statement strongly criticising the Government’s decision to scrap the planned introduction of import checks on animals and animal products coming into the UK from 1 July 2022.

The statement comes after Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexit opportunities minister, said that no further import controls on EU goods will be introduced this year. Instead, the Government will develop a “new approach to import controls” that are expected to come into force at the end of 2023.

BVA has repeatedly warned that postponing the inspections, which have already been delayed three times, may have major consequences for animal health and British agriculture, as well as open the door to the spread of illnesses such as African Swine Fever.

James Russell, senior vice president of the BVA, commented: “This move flies in the face not only of common sense, but also of the Government’s commitment to preserving high levels of animal and human health in the UK.

“Diseases such as African Swine Fever have already had a catastrophic impact on agriculture and animal health in parts of Europe and elsewhere globally. With the UK now being outside the EU’s integrated and highly responsive surveillance systems, we have repeatedly warned that delaying veterinary checks further could weaken vital lines of defence against future incursions."

He continued: “To remove the requirement for checks entirely appears deeply misguided; we urge the Government to abandon these plans and close off the threat of causing significant damage to our food and farming industries. If not, the Government must urgently set out how it will safeguard animal health and welfare in the UK in the coming months.”

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World Bee Day celebrations begin

News Story 1
 Today (20 May) marks the fifth annual World Bee Day, which raises awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators to people and the planet. Observed on the anniversary of pioneering Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jana's birthday, this year's celebration is themed: 'Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems'.

Organisations and people celebrating the day will raise awareness of the accelerated decline in pollinator diversity, and highlight the importance of sustainable beekeeping systems and a wide variety of bees. Slovenia, the initiator of World Bee Day, will be focusing on teaching young people about the significance of pollinators. 

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News Shorts
Further avian flu cases confirmed

Three cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 have been confirmed in recent days, bringing the total number of cases in England to 98.

On Thursday, the APHA confirmed two cases of HPAI H5N1 near Redgrave, Mid Suffolk and Market Weston, West Suffolk. A case H5N1 was also confirmed in poultry at a premises near Southwell, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.

Protection and surveillance zones are in place around the affected premises. Further details are available at gov.uk