Brexit has ensured greater public & government realisation of the significant role vets play in society

29 JUL 2019

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The British Veterinary Association’s outgoing President Simon Doherty spoke to PoliticsHome, reflecting on his year in office, the challenge of Brexit and other issues within the veterinary sector like recruitment and retention of staff.


Given Brexit has dominated his term of office, Simon Doherty could not ask for a better time to be heading up the British Veterinary Association. A vet, he was born in Northern Ireland and has extensive experience working across the animal health sector as well as a spell working at the Department for International Trade working on inward investment and boosting UK exports in the animal science and aquaculture sectors.


Mr Doherty is clear about the current challenges facing the UK vet sector, particularly the Northern Ireland border: “We have no idea what is going to happen in terms of movement of horses, companion animals, livestock and animal products across the Northern Ireland – Republic of Ireland border”.


He adds that there might well be “potential disruption to the whole equine industry. We know that a lot of Irish horses will come over to compete at Cheltenham, Newmarket, and Aintree. Those are movements we are just a little bit unsure about” and adds that alongside Brexit, it is important for the UK government to fulfil its promises and enshrine animal sentience into UK law.

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