NOAH Manifesto: The new government must safeguard the health and welfare of the UK’s pets and farm animals
NOAH Chief Executive, Dawn Howard, explains how the organisation plans to work with the new Government to safeguard the health and welfare of the UK’s pets and farm animals and highlights why the UK animal health industry is important to society and the economy.
NOAH represents the UK animal health industry. Our vision is to be at the forefront of UK animal health and welfare. Our medicines protect the health and welfare of all animals: pets in our homes; horses; livestock, poultry or fish on UK farms. All have a right to be treated with appropriate medicines to prevent disease and reduce suffering, and to ensure they can continue to provide companionship or to produce the safe, nutritious food people expect.
Our industry underpins so much that is valued in British society. In everything we and our members do, we aim to improve the lives of animals through encouraging responsible farming and pet ownership and promoting the safe and responsible use of medicines.
The NOAH manifesto details the role of the animal health industry in One Health and sets out how animal health and welfare must be at the heart of any future UK food and farming strategy.
The UK has a key role to play on the world stage in tackling the One Health challenges that face us all. But this starts at home with the interconnection of the health and wellbeing of people, animals and the environment. We need a collaborative approach to tackling issues as varied as antimicrobial resistance, improving vaccination rates and improving mental health and wellbeing.
As the health of people, animals and our environment is inextricably linked, we need the new Government to recognise the sector’s important role and include our needs as we negotiate any future relationship with the EU and beyond. The UK is in a strong position to be a global centre of excellence for animal medicines, supporting both innovative product developments and a regulatory model to benefit our national and international trade. It is vital for the UK economy and society that opportunities can be realised, and our members need certainty to be able to plan.
To support the sustainable development of the UK’s food and farming industry animal health and welfare should be at the heart of future policy. The development and delivery of a vision and integrated plan for animal health and welfare, rewarding farmers for their contribution to public goods by going beyond regulatory standards, needs to be prioritised with co-operation from devolved administrations. We have developed a Vision Paper for Animal Health and Welfare that proposes incentives to develop innovative treatments and better diagnostics for animals and recommends a clear UK strategy with measurable outcomes.
The health and wellbeing of those moving into rented accommodation or care facilities would be improved if they did not have to give up their much-loved pets – as well protecting the continued good health and welfare of the pets. We support health care professionals being able to utilise the benefits that pets can bring to those in their care by supporting pet-friendly health and social care policies.
The successful development and delivery of future UK animal health and welfare policy will require both the new Government and ourselves to rise to the challenge together. The animal health sector can lead and is committed to supporting the provision of safe, healthy, affordable food for all and in enabling healthy animals to play their part in our society.