Opinion Former Article

NOAH welcomes ambitious animal health and welfare vision shown in new Agriculture Bill

NOAH welcomes the publication of the Agriculture Bill, supporting the proposal for ‘public money for public goods’ to protect and improve the health and welfare of all farmed animals.

The Agriculture Bill focusses on driving progress in the field of animal disease prevention and treatment provision in a timely manner. Recognising the clear productivity and sustainability gains that can be made through the further development of animal health initiatives, NOAH is already investing in skills and promoting training opportunities that are important to support this progress through its Animal Medicines Best Practice (AMBP) project, with training for farmers and vets on antibiotic use.

The Agriculture Bill, underpinned by payment of public money for the provision of public goods, should capture the vital public goods provided by good animal health and welfare.

NOAH Chair, Gaynor Hillier, said: “We welcome that the importance of animal health and welfare has been recognised and believe that real improvements can be made by increasing the use of a range of preventative and supportive medicines, such as vaccines and pain relief medicines. Improvements to health will not only help support welfare improvements but also support the increases in productivity and management of risks that the Bill aims to achieve.

“The Bill should naturally uphold our current protections and provide a driver for animal health improvements. We welcome ambitious Government plans to develop a co-operative Animal Health Pathway programme of partnership to tackle animal disease and improve our health status.

“We look forward to working with Government to develop measures to support farmers and vets to improve animal health & welfare, reduce disease and keep livestock healthy. Access to and availability of animal health products will be essential to delivering a sustainable livestock sector. We applaud this ambitious vision.”

For further information please contact Dawn Howard or Alison Glennon at NOAH.

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