Campaigns and policy

We develop evidence-based policy drawing on our members' expertise and experience.

Each year we will focus on priority areas inspired by member feedback and agreed by BVA Council that will drive our campaigns for the coming year.

Our priority policy areas

64% of UK vets think welfare at slaughter or pre-stunning should be a top priority for government.

52% of UK households own a pet yet many vets have concerns about irresponsible pet ownership.

Antimicrobials are essential to veterinary medicine, but inappropriate use could render them ineffective.

We want to support members throughout their careers, from student to retirement.

Our strategy, ‘Vets speaking up for animal welfare’, provides a framework to help the veterinary profession advocate good animal welfare outcomes for all animals.

The UK veterinary surveillance network is vital to controlling and monitoring outbreaks of disease in both large and small animals.

Our aim is to ensure the best possible outcome for veterinary science, animal health and welfare and public health following the UK's departure from the EU.

We have worked in collaboration with RCVS to create Vet Futures, a project that focuses on issues that will face the veterinary profession in the future.

All policy positions

  • Show by category
  • Show A - Z

Show by category

Show A - Z

  • Lobbying activity

    To ensure the veterinary voice is heard around the UK and in Europe, we provide briefings and information to parliamentarians and minsiters in Westminster, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and members of the European Parliament. We work closely with our honorary associate member MPs, MSPs, AMs, MLAs and MEPs. We also work with the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) to lobby the European Commission.

    • UK/Westminster
    • Scotland
    • Wales
    • Northern Ireland
    • Europe


    General Election Manifesto 2017


    BVA’s 2017 manifesto (226 KB PDF) highlights 20 key recommendations for the next Government to consider in terms of domestic policy setting and throughout Brexit discussions. We have sent it to all major UK political parties urging them to consider adopting our policy recommendations in their own General Election manifestos.

    Focus on the veterinary community working together at annual London Dinner

    BVA welcomed MPs, Peers and stakeholders to the annual London Dinner held in Westminster on 5 February 2019. In his speech BVA President Simon Doherty championed the vital and varied work of vets in the UK, and called for the workforce to pull together to navigate the difficult and unpredictable landscape ahead. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Food and Animal Welfare David Rutley MP was the guest of honour.

    BVA meets Secretary of State

    BVA President John Fishwick, Senior Vice President Gudrun Ravetz together with Liz Kelly (AGV) and Gavin Morris (VPHA) met Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove MP on 17 July 2018 when they discussed Brexit workforce issues, welfare at slaughter, animal sentience and pet travel.

    BVA meets new Defra Minister

    New Defra Minister David Rutley MP hosted an introductory meeting with BVA President Simon Doherty and Senior Vice President John Fishwick on 10 October 2018. BVA Officers took the opportunity to highlight the impact of Brexit on the veterinary workforce and stressed the urgency of including vets on the Shortage Occupation List.

    Brexit concerns discussed at House of Commons briefing

    Our Afternoon Tea briefing on 17 October was hosted by BVA Honorary Associate and LibDem spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Tim Farron MP, who praised vets’ expertise and passion for their work and commented that policy makers should pay heed to the profession. BVA President Simon Doherty highlighted BVA’s key concerns around veterinary workforce, animal health and welfare, and trade issues as we exit the EU; as well as discussing welfare at slaughter, pet travel and pet welfare. We were joined by Defra Minister David Rutley MP; the Shadow Minister for Farming and Rural Communities; members of EFRACom, the Welsh Affairs Select Committee and the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee; Officers from the All Party Group on Animal Welfare; and several BVA Honorary Associate MPs and Peers.


    Scottish parliament

    Our manifesto for Scotland 2016–2021

    We have launched our manifesto for Scotland (754 KB PDF) urging incoming parliamentarians to take action on animal health and welfare as part of a One Health government agenda in Scotland.

    Focus on Scotland leading the way on animal health and welfare policies at annual Scottish Dinner

    BVA and Scottish Branch welcomed parliamentarians and stakeholders from Scotland to the annual Scottish dinner hosted by John Scott MSP at Holyrood on 15 May. BVA President’s speech highlighted several big wins for animal welfare in Scotland; and outlined challenges and opportunities posed by the UK’s exit from the EU. Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham MSP was the guest of honour.


    Welsh assembly

    Our manifesto for Wales 2016–2021

    We have launched our manifesto for Wales (750 KB PDF) urging incoming assembly members to take action on animal health and welfare as part of a One Health government agenda in Wales.

    Welsh Dinner speech highlights impact of Brexit on vets working in Wales

    BVA and Welsh Branch welcomed the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, alongside Assembly Members, Welsh Government representatives and key stakeholders to the annual annual Welsh dinner in Cardiff on 26 June. BVA President’s speech highlighted concerns about how Brexit may impact of vets working in Wales, CCTV in slaughterhouses, the importance of partnership working between vets, farmers and government in tackling animal health problems, and praise for the Welsh Government’s strong commitment to pet welfare.

    Northern Ireland

    NI assembly

    Our manifesto for Northern Ireland 2017–2022

    We have launched our manifesto for Northern Ireland (3.2 MB PDF) urging incoming assembly members to take action on animal health and welfare as part of a One Health government agenda in Northern Ireland.

    Challenges posed by Brexit highlighted at Northern Ireland dinner

    BVA and Northern Ireland Branch welcomed MLAs and stakeholders to the annual Northern Ireland dinner hosted by Declan McAleer MLA at Stormont on 24 October. BVA President’s speech championed the vital work of vets in Northern Ireland across multiple areas and called for urgent action to guard against a serious shortfall in workforce capacity following Brexit.  Richard Wright, former BBC NI agriculture correspondent, was the guest speaker; and an update on DAERA’s activities was given by Permanent Secretary Dr Denis McMahon.


    European parliament

    Brexit and the veterinary profession

    BVA’s Brexit and the veterinary profession report, which has been developed through extensive consultation with BVA members, devolved branches, BVA specialist divisions and other key stakeholders, outlines the essential role that the UK veterinary workforce plays in not only caring for animals, but in enabling trade, ensuring food hygiene and safety, and undertaking cutting-edge research. Using the report’s recommendations, we will continue to work hard to secure the best possible outcomes for animal health, animal welfare, public health and the veterinary profession post-Brexit. We encourage members to continue discussing the implications of 'Brexit' for the UK veterinary profession on the BVA community.