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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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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.