The BVA and its Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh branches have launched three manifestos urging parliamentarians to take action on animal health and welfare under a “one health” government agenda, ahead of elections on 5 May.

The manifestos, developed using the expertise and experiences of BVA’s members, make clear recommendations in three key areas:

  • safeguarding animal health
  • promoting animal welfare
  • recognising the vital role of veterinary surgeons

Each manifesto sets out “evidence-based and informed advice and policy recommendations” that provide the devolved governments with “a clear pathway towards improving animal health and welfare”.

Vets on the front line

BVA president Sean Wensley said: “As veterinary surgeons, we are on the front line caring for animals, detecting and treating disease, and undertaking pioneering research into animal and public health.

“We work at the cutting-edge of science and at the heart of the communities in which we practise, guiding animal keepers and owners towards good animal welfare decisions and helping to maintain the strong human-animal bond.

“The UK prides itself on high, continuously improving animal welfare standards and voters care deeply about animal health and welfare issues, so we urge the incoming national governments to include this in their agendas and champion the concept of one health in recognition of the inextricable links between animals and humans, and our shared living environment.”

Unique position

He added: “Through our daily work, and these manifestos, we believe vets are in a unique position from which to offer the next governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales evidence-based and informed advice and policy recommendations.”

BVA’s manifestos will be sent to all candidates standing for election, relevant animal health and welfare government groups, BVA honorary associate MPs, peers and MEPs, and respective CVOs. Following the elections, BVA will also share the documents with newly elected members.

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