News Further Delay To Animal Checks

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Further delay to animal checks
3rd May 2022

By David Rees
The Government has decided to delay further the planned introduction of import checks on animals and animal products coming into the UK.
 
The new regime was scheduled to be introduced from July 1, but Minister for Brexit Opportunities Jacob Rees-Mogg confirmed last week that no further import controls on EU goods will be introduced this year. The Government will instead develop a “new regime of import controls” with a target introduction date by the end of 2023.
 
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is warning that further delays to the checks, which have already been pushed back three times, could have serious implications for animal health and British agriculture, and open up a threat of the incursion of diseases such as African Swine Fever.
 
BVA Senior Vice President James Russell said: “This move flies in the face not only of common sense, but also of the Government’s commitment to preserving high levels of animal and human health in the UK.
 
“Diseases such as African Swine Fever have already had a catastrophic impact on agriculture and animal health in parts of Europe and elsewhere globally. With the UK now being outside the EU’s integrated and highly responsive surveillance systems, we have repeatedly warned that delaying veterinary checks further could weaken vital lines of defence against future incursions.
 
“To remove the requirement for checks entirely appears deeply misguided; we urge the Government to abandon these plans and close off the threat of causing significant damage to our food and farming industries. If not, the Government must urgently set out how it will safeguard animal health and welfare in the UK in the coming months.”