Vets launch 10 pledges for manifestos

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Brexit, workforce, and animal welfare top the list of 10 pledges that the British Veterinary Association is calling on all political parties to include in their manifestos for the upcoming General Election.

The 10 pledges, available at www.bva.co.uk/manifesto, are based on BVA animal welfare campaigns, including on animal sentience, non-stun slaughter, and illegal puppy imports, BVA’s commitment to evidence-based disease control, and the ongoing drive to improve recruitment and retention in the veterinary profession.

The pledges were unveiled at a private briefing for MPs and Peers in Westminster last month. The event was hosted by BVA honorary associate Ben Lake MP (Ceredigion) who called on fellow politicians to engage with BVA, describing the Association as “a font of knowledge and advice and assistance” in today’s “hurly burly world”.

The 10 pledges are:

Reject a no-deal Brexit

Boost the veterinary workforce

Protect all animals in law

Protect UK welfare standards in future trade deals and agri policies

Protect the welfare of animals at slaughter

Strengthen legislation against illegal puppy imports

Commit to evidence-based disease control

Introduce a single database for microchip registration

Ban primates as pets

Put animal welfare on the national curriculum

BVA has written to all major political parties to ask them to adopt the pledges in their General Election manifestos.

Launching the manifesto, BVA President Daniella Dos Santos said: “We are at a critical time for animal health and welfare, and the future of our profession. All major political parties recognise that animal welfare is a key issue for voters so it’s essential that they adopt sound, evidence-based policies in their manifestos.

“Our manifesto of 10 pledges draws together the most pressing topical issues that matter to our members. Unsurprisingly, Brexit has taken the top slot.

“BVA has not taken a position in favour of leave or remain, but our Council reviewed the evidence and concluded that a no-deal Brexit would have serious consequences for our workforce, and animal health and welfare.”