The three major issues presented at the BVA Welsh Dinner revolved around the government’s apprehension in carrying out advice from the industry, and a welcome change to tuition fees for Welsh students. Whilst tuition fee funding is welcome news, why is the government ignoring the veterinary community’s advice on TB and poor breeding practice?
The following is a press release from BVA:
BVA President Harvey Locke also raised the BVA’s significant concerns over the unintended consequences of the Welsh Government’s commitment to subsidising the cost of Welsh students attending Welsh universities.
The Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, John Griffiths AM, delivered the response on behalf of the guests, which included parliamentarians, key representatives of the agri-food industry and animal health and welfare organisations, senior members of the veterinary profession, and members of the media.
On the review of scientific evidence on eradicating bovine TB and badger culling, Mr Locke said:
“As veterinary scientists we are fully committed to science-based policy, but we believe that that work has already been done. We are concerned that any further delay to the implementation of a targeted cull will simply result in further devastation to Welsh herds.
“However, we do acknowledge your stated desire that the review be completed within a short timeframe and we appreciate your commitment to that. We are also very keen to see a strong veterinary representation on the review panel.”
On puppy farming regulations:
“On this issue the Welsh Government took a bold step forward and then two steps back. In March the then-Minister announced that new regulations to tackle puppy farming would not be introduced.
“Minister, I implore you to put this issue back at the top of the Government’s agenda. Too often veterinary surgeons see the devastating consequences of poor breeding practices.
“A huge amount of work has already been completed by experts in the field and bold policies proposed. I can assure you that you will have the full support of the veterinary profession.”
On tuition fees:
“The Welsh Government has announced its intention to subsidise the undergraduate education of Welsh students attending UK universities. This is a commendable policy which the BVA warmly welcomes.
“We are keen to work with governments in both Cardiff and Westminster to encourage and inspire the next generation of veterinary surgeons in Wales.”