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Vets welcome return of power to Stormont
“There are several major issues that need a ministerial decision" – Esther Skelly-Smith.
BVA and NIVA hope progress can now be made on major issues.

Veterinary groups have welcomed the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive as an opportunity to tackle the animal health and welfare challenges facing Northern Ireland.

The suspension of the Assembly since 2022, following a dispute over post-Brexit trade arrangements, has meant that decisions on how to deal with issues such as bovine TB and animal welfare have not been made.

Andrew Muir has been appointed to serve as minister of agriculture, environment and rural affairs. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the North of Ireland Veterinary Association (NIVA) have said they are looking forward to working with him.

NIVA president and BVA NI Branch president Esther Skelly-Smith said: “There are several major issues that need a ministerial decision. NIVA and BVA plan to engage with Minister Muir as soon as practical on issues such as the TB eradication programme, the need for revised animal welfare policy, the role of the veterinary profession and animal welfare in sustainable agri-food production, and the need for regulation of farriers.

“We are also keen to engage with our local Executive urgently to secure its input on the important issue of access to veterinary medicines following the UK government’s announcement that a new Veterinary Medicines Working Group will seek to resolve the issue.

“We want to work with the new Executive to see decisions made locally to protect the health and welfare of our animals and support the veterinary profession, in order to develop our economy for the benefit of both people and animals in Northern Ireland. We very much look forward to positive engagement with our Assembly.”

The new minister has already set out animal welfare as a priority, visiting the offices of the Ulster Society for the Prevention Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) during his first week in the role.

Minister Muir said: “I am delighted to visit USPCA in my first visit as minister as I want to be an advocate for animal welfare issues. It is something that I know that we can all agree on that improving animal welfare and stopping animal cruelty should be a priority for everyone.

“Working with stakeholders and partners across the piece we can find a way to modernise and bring animal welfare legislation here into line with other jurisdictions.”

Image © Shutterstock

 

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.