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15 Jul 2022
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the North of Ireland Veterinary Association (NIVA) have jointly welcomed the restoration of the NI Assembly and Executive.
The associations are concerned that the absence of a NI Government over the last two years has meant many important decisions about key animal health issues, such as the control of bovine TB, BVD eradication and regulation of farriers, have not been taken. In addition, while progress has been made, a permanent solution is yet to be agreed to ensure continued access to veterinary medicines in NI when the current grace period expires at the end of 2025.
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.”
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