Brexit farm subsidies need greater focus on animal health and welfare

21 July 2017

In a speech, the Secretary of State for the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said that ‘farm subsidies will have to be earned rather than just handed out in future.’ Michael Gove MP outlined that farmers will get only get payouts if they agree to protect the environment and enhance rural life.

Responding to the speech, British Veterinary Association President Gudrun Ravetz said:

“We welcome the focus on good environmental practice in the Government’s early plans to replace the EU Common Agricultural Policy, or CAP payments, however there must be greater emphasis placed on animal health and welfare as part of a comprehensive policy moving forwards. After all, as the Secretary of State acknowledged, the success of our agri-food sector is built on the UK’s reputation for high animal welfare standards, and good animal health status.

“One of BVA’s earliest, and continued Brexit calls on the Government is to ensure that any replacement CAP scheme encompasses at least animal health, animal welfare, disease surveillance, biodiversity and environmental stewardship as public goods that benefit not only producers, but consumers and wider society too.

“As Government develops the detail of the policy that will replace CAP payments, BVA is recommending close working with industry to progress a farm animal welfare stewardship programme that is funded by our new domestic agricultural policies.”

More information is available in BVA's 'Brexit and the veterinary profession' report.

BVA Media Office