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Animal heath professionals debate post-Brexit future

The National Office of Animal Health’s (NOAH’s) conference on 1 November in Westminster brought together more than 100 delegates to discuss and debate the future of animal health, as Brexit negotiations continue.

The conference – chaired by NOAH Chief Executive Dawn Howard and opened by NOAH Chair Gaynor Hillier – examined progress from Government, industry response so far and sentiment across the sector ahead of NOAH’s next Brexit Barometer report.

A series of key-note speeches set the scene for the day, providing insight into the current regulatory and political context. Speakers included Nigel Gibbens, Chief Veterinary Officer for the UK, Professor Peter Borriello, Chief Executive of the VMD, Sue Hayman, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Rick Clayton, Technical Director of AnimalhealthEurope.

A panel featuring David Caffall, Chair of the Agri-Brexit Coalition, Mike Murray, Head of Quality and Environmental Standards, ABPI, Chris Laurence from the Canine and Feline Sector Group and David Calpin from the BVA, explored what organisations and stakeholders across the industry have in common, how our industry is working together and how we can do more in the future to achieve common aims.

This was followed by a session focusing on opportunities for innovation, trade, food production and animal health and welfare and what needs to be done to ensure these can be capitalised upon.

The session featured presentations from Julie Girling MEP, South West England and Gibraltar, Nick von Westenholz, Director of EU Exit and International Trade, NFU, Professor Janet Bainbridge, CEO for Bioeconomy, Department of International Trade and Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute.

The conference closed with an interactive session testing sentiment on the six key opportunity areas outlined in NOAH’s Brexit Barometer. Feedback and insight from this session will be revealed in NOAH’s second Brexit Barometer report – due out later this year.

NOAH Chief Executive Dawn Howard comments: “While there are undoubtedly opportunities which are within our industry’s grasp as the Brexit process unfolds, it is clear that the only way to capitalise on these is through collaboration across the industry and continued close dialogue with Government.

“It is encouraging to see that there are already many areas of convergence and ways in which organisations and stakeholders across our sector are working together and we look forward to continuing to support our members throughout the Brexit process to help deliver a successful outcome for our industry.”

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