Opinion Former Article

NOAH conference: ‘Brexit and beyond: a strong future for animal health’

NOAH’s conference on 30 October brought together over 100 delegates from across the animal health sector to discuss and debate the future of animal health, as EU Exit negotiations continue.

The conference – chaired by The Lord Trees – examined progress so far and sentiment across the sector ahead of NOAH’s next Brexit Barometer report. It discussed future policy and explored opportunities for our sector.

The event opened with an update on progress on the UK’s exit from the UK and what needs to be done to secure a successful UK industry. Dawn Howard, NOAH’s chief executive, outlined the results of a recent preparedness study undertaken with NOAH members, and launched NOAH’s new animation ‘Thriving in the post-Brexit landscape’. Other speakers in this session were Rick Clayton, Technical Director AnimalhealthEurope; John Keogh, Director, APHA, Ireland and Prof Quintin McKellar, Vice Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire. The presentation was rounded off by NFU President, Minette Batters.

The second session considered future policy for our sector as we move into a post-Brexit world. Speakers included Noel Joseph, Head of International Office, VMD and Sarah Nightingale, Consultant at GAFTA who gave an introduction to WTO. Dawn Howard then gave an update on NOAH’s Animal Medicines Best Practice Project, with training for farmers on antibiotic use, in the context of the UK’s AMR strategy.

A veterinary perspective, covering issues from people, to animal health, to medicines supply was provided by the presidents of RCVS and BVA, Amanda Boag and Simon Doherty.

Attention turned to exploring opportunities for innovation, trade, food production and animal health and welfare. Speakers here were Dr Lawrence Brown, Specialist for Animal Sciences and Aquaculture, DIT; George Gunn, Stonehaven Consulting and Prof Eleanor Riley, Director of the Roslin 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 fourth Brexit Barometer report – due out later this year.

NOAH Chief Executive Dawn Howard comments:

“There are undoubtedly opportunities which are within our industry’s grasp as the Brexit process unfolds, and our future looks exciting. However, if we leave the EU with no deal, there are real concerns relating to potential impact on innovation, product availability and choice for UK prescribers and animal keepers, as there may be fewer new medicines entering the UK market and fewer improvements to existing medicines.

“We want the UK to be a place to do business: for trade and innovation to flourish and to be seen as world leading in animal health and welfare, public health and food safety. Skilled staff need to be accessible and welcomed and UK product research and development incentivised. NOAH remains committed to achieving the best possible outcome and we look to Government to help us succeed.”

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For further information please contact Alison Glennon or Dawn Howard at NOAH 020 8367 3131 or email a.glennon@noah.co.uk.

About NOAH

1.                      NOAH represents the UK animal health industry. It promotes the benefits of safe, effective, quality products and services for the health and welfare of all animals. For further information, please visit: www.noah.co.uk
2.                      NOAH’s animation ‘Thriving in the post-Brexit landscape’ is available at https://www.noah.co.uk/focus-areas/brexit/

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