CAP replacement should incentivise animal health and welfare standards - BVA
29th Sep 2016 / By Alistair Driver
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is calling on the Government to use future farm support payments to incentivise public goods such as improving animal health and welfare.
In a Brexit paper recently approved by its council, the association also suggests any schemes that replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) should support disease surveillance, biodiversity and environmental stewardship.
The BVA’s stance ties in with NPA’s calls for UK administrations to utilise funding under new domestic agriculture policies to provide grants to help farmers invest in new buildings and equipment to support moves to cut antibiotic usage on farms.
The pressure on Ministers to radically alter the current area-based CAP system was reinforced today by reports highlighting how billionaires, such as Newmarket-based racehorse owner Khalid Abdullah al Saud, receive hundreds of thousands in EU support.
Organisations like NPA and BVA are becoming increasingly vocal in making the case for more effective ways of spending this money.
In NPA's response to the Government's recent AMR announcement, Georgina Crayford said:
"We can’t do this on our own. Producers need support from Government, particularly for new pig buildings, which are more hygienic and allow better biosecurity, to improve herd health and reduce the need for antibiotics.”
In its Brexit paper, BVA also calls on the UK Government to ensure existing animal health and welfare, public health, veterinary medicines, workforce, and environmental protection standards are at least maintained as part of negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU.
It urged the Government to seek opportunities to improve standards in accordance with evidence-based risk analysis of animal health, welfare and ethics.
The BVA believes high animal welfare and food safety standards could be the unique selling point of ‘UK plc post-Brexit.
New BVA president Gudrun Ravetz said: “We will ensure the voice of the veterinary profession is heard during any negotiations and discussions, to secure the best possible outcomes for our profession and for animal health and welfare in the UK.”