THE BRITISH Veterinary Association is calling on all major political parties to prioritise animal welfare policies in their upcoming general election manifestos.

The BVA has highlighted 10 pledges which it believes should be considered, including the likes of; rejecting a no-deal Brexit; protecting UK welfare standards in future trade deals and agri policies; protecting the welfare of animals at slaughter; and boosting the veterinary workforce.

These pledges were unveiled at a private briefing for MPs and Peers in Westminste, hosted by BVA honorary associate Ben Lake MP, who called on fellow politicians to engage with BVA, describing the association as 'a font of knowledge and advice and assistance' in today’s 'hurly burly world'.

Launching the manifesto, BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said: “We are at a critical time for animal health and welfare, and the future of our profession. All major political parties recognise that animal welfare is a key issue for voters so it’s essential that they adopt sound, evidence-based policies in their manifestos.

“Our manifesto of 10 pledges draws together the most pressing topical issues that matter to our members,” she continued. “Unsurprisingly, Brexit has taken the top slot. BVA has not taken a position in favour of leave or remain, but our Council reviewed the evidence and concluded that a no-deal Brexit would have serious consequences for our workforce, and animal health and welfare.

“We know there is cross-party support for many of the animal welfare measures in our manifesto, such as enshrining sentience in UK law, but we need to see a real commitment to action,” she urged. “We’re looking forward to engaging with all parties to put these policies into effect.

“During the campaign, we’re calling on election candidates to talk to vets in their local communities to better understand the veterinary workforce and welfare issues in our profession,” she concluded.