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BVA calls on new Government to prioritise Veterinary Surgeons Act reform to enable it to deliver its manifesto commitments

British Veterinary Association

2 min read Partner content

As the Labour Party begins the job of forming the next UK Government, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) welcomes its commitment to prioritise the highest standards of animal welfare in international trade deals; negotiate a veterinary agreement with the EU to reduce border checks; and promote greater environmental sustainability; however, to ensure the UK has a modern veterinary profession able to support these ambitions, the new government must also prioritise urgent reform of the ‘outdated’ Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, which is not fit for purpose.

British Veterinary Association President Anna Judson said:

“The new Government faces many pressing issues as it takes the keys to Number 10 and whilst we look forward to seeing more detail around its manifesto commitments in relation to animal welfare standards and cooperation with the EU, the veterinary profession is critical to delivering many of these promises and therefore it’s essential the new government quickly turns its attention to reforming the woefully outdated Veterinary Surgeons Act, or risk falling at the first hurdle.”

In addition to veterinary legislative reform, BVA’s manifesto for animals, vets and public health, is also calling on the new government to overhaul the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991; tackle key animal welfare concerns left unresolved after the abandoned Kept Animals Bill; and secure permanent access to veterinary medicines in Northern Ireland, which remain at risk as a result of the UK’s exit from the European Union. 

Dr Judson added:

“In its manifesto, the new government has committed to action on several key animal welfare issues which is good news and the British Veterinary Association stands ready to work with officials to get the detail right. Alongside these, we also urge the government to press ahead with legislation which would have been delivered as part of the abandoned Kept Animals Bill like stricter pet import measures, including mandatory pre-import testing to minimise the spread of infections like Brucella canis.”

BVA’s manifesto for animals, vets and public health is available on its website -


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