North Antrim MP Ian Paisley has welcomed the British Veterinary Association’s 2016 election manifesto in which they have identified three key policy areas; safeguarding animal welfare, improving animal welfare and recognising the role of vets in society.
The manifesto tackles various areas, but calls on government to accept and properly resource the TB Strategic Partnership Group action plan.
Speaking about the manifesto, Mr Paisley said: “Given that the agri-food industry is a cornerstone of Northern Ireland’s economy, employing tens of thousands of people and turning over more than £4.5 billion every year, it’s vitally important that we address not only TB but various livestock endemics. The economic benefits of good animal health and welfare are crucial to the development and maintenance of a sustainable and competitive industry and it’s something we must continue to strive for.”
The BVA have also called on the government to ensure that animal welfare is a priority both commercially and privately, whether animals are going to slaughter or in terms of the illegal sale of pets online. “One area which concerns me greatly are the rising number of ‘puppy farms’ in Northern Ireland,” the MP said. “I’ve also been concerned by the growing animal abuse cases that have arisen in recent years, and I welcome the recent ‘review of the Implementation of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011’ which amongst other things, calls for tougher sentences against those committing such heinous crimes. I welcome this manifesto and as a member of the BVA, I will continue to work on their behalf to achieve these goals.”
BVA’s manifesto will be sent to all candidates who are standing for election, and following the election, with newly elected members.