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Defra Cuts Could Hurt UK's Animal Disease Preparedness

10 November 2015

UK - The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is one of four government departments, which has provisionally agreed to cut its spending by an average of 30 per cent over the next four years.

The cuts caused concern at the British Veterinary Association.

BVA President Sean Wensley said: "In recent years we have already seen the impact of significant cuts to Defra's budget on veterinary fees for TB testing and other OV services and on disease surveillance.

"Our major concern is that more cuts in these areas could further erode the UK's preparedness for a disease outbreak, which could have massive implications for animal and human health, animal welfare and the reputation of UK agriculture.

"The Defra Secretary of State has repeatedly said that animal health and welfare is a priority so we would urge Defra to protect animal health and welfare budgets relative to other areas of spend and ensure that short-term savings do not lead to serious adverse consequences in the longer term."

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