British Veterinary Association (BVA) president Peter Jones used his annual London dinner speech to call on the Government, parliamentarians and other stakeholders to see the value in vets.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDuring the speech, Jones addressed issues such as the horsemeat scandal, the BVA\u2019s call for clearer welfare labelling measures; dog welfare; and pet travel, where he called for an enquiry into the illegal importing of puppies for sale.\r\nCommenting on the horsemeat scandal, Jones said: \u201cIt goes without saying that everyone has a right to know what\u2019s in the food they eat. The headlines about horsemeat will no doubt continue, but what is already clear is that in a very short space of time the news has undermined confidence in the food chain. And it has called into question the veracity of the horse passport system, which is clearly not fit for purpose.\r\n\u201cWe need to look ahead now and agree what we need from the passport system and how we can achieve that \u2013 for both animal and human health.\u201d\r\nChair of the environment, food, and rural affairs (EFRA) committee Anne McIntosh also addressed guests to highlight some of the committee\u2019s recent work and thank the BVA for its input.\r\nMr Jones touched upon EFRA\u2019s work when he spoke of companion animal issues, as he called on all organisations to get behind the AWF\/RSPCA puppy contract when it is reviewed later in the year.\r\n\u201cWe are grateful to both DEFRA and the EFRA committee for their support for the puppy contract. When it was launched last year it gained the support of almost all of the major dog welfare organisations. And when it is reviewed this year we very much hope that we can bring everyone on board,\u201d he remarked.\r\n\u201cThe key to tackling those ill-advised purchases is education so wouldn\u2019t it be great if we could all sing from the same hymn sheet?\u201d\r\nJones concluded his speech with a summary of where he feels the veterinary profession is and where he believes it can go.\r\n\u201cIn political terms we\u2019re halfway through this Government and I think the veterinary profession \u2013 with a strong lead from the BVA \u2013 is bringing real value to the policy-making process and having an impact on the decisions being made. Of course we don\u2019t expect to get everything we want, but we won\u2019t be put off trying and we embrace the opportunities to contribute the scientific and evidence-based veterinary viewpoint.\u201d\r\nImage: Anne McIntosh and Peter Jones.