The Ulster Farmers’ Union has met with the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to discuss a range of issues relating to Brexit.
Representatives of the BVA informed the UFU that there is currently a 10-15 per cent shortage of vets in the country and that many of their vets are of EU origin. They highlighted that with Brexit looming they have witnessed a decrease in EU vets coming to the UK. Namely because of the decrease in the value of the GBP and due to the concerns around what the UK’s future arrangement with the EU will look like.
At the meeting trade, in particular certification and border checks, was also discussed. Both the UFU and BVA reiterated that a Brexit deal that causes the least disruption to trade and the movement of goods and animals was crucial.
Discussions around the future of Domestic Agricultural Support and the improvements to animal health and welfare were viewed as important in ensuring profitability for both the farming and veterinary professions.
Also covered at the meeting was the BSE case found on a farm in Scotland. The issue of Bovine TB and BVD and frustrations among farmers and veterinary professionals with the absence of a local government in order to get anything done was also covered.
Lastly, there was a brief discussion around Antimicrobial Resistance and the positive efforts made by both professions to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics in agriculture.