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UK veterinarians respond to delay of import checks on animals

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BVA warns delay could lead to serious implications for British agriculture, and open up a threat of the incursion of diseases such as African swine fever.

In a written ministerial statement issued today, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Minister for Brexit Opportunities, said that no further import controls on European Union goods will be introduced this year. The United Kingdom's Government will instead develop a "new regime of import controls," with a target introduction date by the end of 2023.

The British Veterinary Association says it has "repeatedly warned that delaying checks, which have already been pushed back three times, could have serious implications for animal health and British agriculture, and open up a threat of the incursion of diseases such as African swine fever."

"This move flies in the face not only of common sense, but also of the Government's commitment to preserving high levels of animal and human health in the UK," says James Russell, BVA senior vice president.

"Diseases such as African swine fever have already had a catastrophic impact on agriculture and animal health in parts of Europe and elsewhere globally. With the UK now being outside the EU's integrated and highly responsive surveillance systems, we have repeatedly warned that delaying veterinary checks further could weaken vital lines of defence against future incursions.

"To remove the requirement for checks entirely appears deeply misguided; we urge the Government to abandon these plans and close off the threat of causing significant damage to our food and farming industries. If not, the Government must urgently set out how it will safeguard animal health and welfare in the UK in the coming months."

Source: British Veterinary Assocation, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

TAGS: Biosecurity
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