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Working group set up to safeguard NI vet medicines supply
The news has been welcomed by the BVA.
Vets in Northern Ireland could lose access to over half of veterinary medicines.

The UK government is to set up a new working group to find a long-term solution to the issue of supplying veterinary medicine to Northern Ireland.

As things stand, veterinary surgeons in Northern Ireland could lose access to an estimated 51 per cent of veterinary medicines once a temporary post-Brexit agreement between the UK and the EU ends at the end of 2025.

Set up as part of a deal to restore power-sharing in the Northern Ireland Assembly, the new Veterinary Medicines Working Group will explore ways to safeguard the supply of veterinary medicines to Northern Ireland. The group will be made up of elected representatives, farming and industry representatives, and legal and trade experts and will report its findings ‘urgently’.

The UK government has also said it plans to introduce legislation in the spring to avoid new regulatory divergence between Great Britain and Northern Ireland on veterinary medicines.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA), which recently gave evidence to a House of Lord’s committee about the risks to human and animal health once the current deal expires, has welcomed the latest development.

Esther Skelly-Smith, BVA Northern Ireland branch president, said: “The British Veterinary Association has been highlighting the serious threat to Northern Ireland’s access to veterinary medicines for some time and therefore it’s good to see the government commit to finding practical, long-term solutions. We have also continued to call for more dialogue between the UK government and EU Commission on this issue.

“The new Veterinary Medicines Working Group is an important step towards safeguarding supply, which if left unaddressed will have serious and far-reaching consequences for the veterinary profession, the farming and equine sectors, as well as public health.

“It is only by a willingness to look carefully and creatively for possible solutions that the ongoing protection of Northern Ireland’s animal and public health and vital agricultural industry will be ensured.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.