27th August 2020 - Page 6

Rejection of animal
‘feelings’ clause
in law post Brexit
concerning: BVA
NOVEMBER 23 2017
Ps have voted to reject the inclusion
of a crucial clause that would transfer
the recognition of animal sentience
(feelings) into UK law post Brexit in an eight-hour
parliamentary debate on the EU (Withdrawal)
Bill (15 November).
Green MP Caroline Lucas submitted an
amendment clause (NC30), which sought to
transfer the EU Protocol on animal sentience set
out in Article 13 of Title II of the Lisbon Treaty into
UK law, so that animals continue to be recognised
as sentient beings under domestic law.
The New Clause was rejected with an 18 majority
for the Government. 313 against, 295 in favour.
Responding to the decision, British Veterinary
Association Senior Vice President Gudrun Ravetz
said: “It is extremely concerning that a marginal
majority of MPs have voted-down this seminal
“Enshrining animal sentience in UK law would
have acknowledged that we consider animals
as being capable of feelings such as pain and
contentment and, so, deserving of consideration
and respect.
“As an animal welfare-led profession, BVA has
been calling on government to at least maintain
current standards of animal health and welfare
and public health. Yet actions speak louder
than words, and this action undermines the
Government’s previous promises that the UK will
continue to be known for our high standards of
animal health and welfare post-Brexit.
“There is now an urgent need for clarity from
Government on how the provisions in Article 13
will be enshrined in UK law to ensure we do not
fall short of the high standards we expect as a
nation of animal lovers.”
AFBI celebrates decade
of Cattle Health Scheme
SPECIAL event to celebrate the 10
year anniversary of the Agri-Food
and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
Cattle Health Scheme (CHS) has
taken place.
The scheme is licenced to the UK-wide
Cattle Health Certification Standards
(CHeCS) and is the only one of its kind in
Northern Ireland.
During the event at AFBI Hillsborough on
Wednesday, November 15, three of the AFBI
CHS members shared their experiences of
working with the scheme and with disease
control in general.
Robin Boyd, current President of the British
Simmental Cattle Society and owner of
Slievenagh Simmental was the first to speak.
Mr Boyd highlighted how Orkney, which
has had a Bovine Viral Diarrhoea control
programme since 2001, is a destination for
Simmental bulls from Northern Ireland and
he made breeders aware of the need to
control this disease on farm.
He was also able to talk about his
experience working as stud manager at
Ballycraigy AI Centre and the importance
of high standards of animal health for bulls
entering AI centres.
Billy Robson OBE, former President of the
Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS),
Kilbride Farm Simmental, followed.
He gave an overview of his experience
in dealing with the various challenges of
animal disease control over the last 60
years including bovine brucellosis, bovine
tuberculosis, bleeding calf syndrome and
Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) in
relation to bulls intended for AI.
OFFICERS: AFBI Veterinary Research Officers at the 10th Anniversary Event.
Finally, William Sherrard BVM&S MRCVS,
Greenvale Limousin Herd, was the last AFBI
CHS speaker.
He gave an important and open account
of his own experiences and highlighted
the need to increase the awareness across
the livestock community of the impact of
endemic diseases on farm productivity
and the understanding of what the various
CHeCS health statuses mean. He also warned
against complacency once a health status
has been achieved.
The last talk of the day was delivered by a
guest speaker, veterinary practitioner, past
president of the British Cattle Veterinary
Association and chair of the CHeCS Technical
Committee, Keith Cutler.
He delivered a thought provoking
presentation where he highlighted the
importance of health planning and disease
prevention for improving profit from
livestock farming.
Those attending also visited the AFBI
short presentations from AFBI disease
surveillance vets on a range of animal
health topics including isolation facilities
requirements, Johne’s biosecurity including
calving hygiene, vaccination protocols,
considerations for bulls with potential use as
an AI sire, and Neosporosis which has been
recently added to the CHeCS programme.


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