The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has called on new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to keep animal welfare high on the government agenda.

In a statement today (Wednesday, October 26) BVA president Malcolm Morley said that restoring economic stability will “be a top priority” for Sunak as he steps into his new role.

However, he added that Sunak should ensure that “safeguarding the UK’s global reputation for the highest standards in animal welfare also remains high on the government’s agenda”.

He said that this should remain a priority “as the country continues to navigate the impacts of leaving the EU and looks to build new international trade opportunities”.

“It is imperative that the Kept Animals Bill doesn’t falter during this period of transition and continues its journey through Parliament and into law,” Morley said.

“BVA has long campaigned for action in areas covered by the bill, including measures to tackle puppy smuggling, prohibit the import of dogs with cropped ears, review zoo standards and impose a ban on keeping primates as pets.

“This new legislation will bring significant positive change for the pets, livestock and wildlife in the UK, addressing some of the most pressing animal health and welfare issues of our time,” he added.

The BVA is the largest membership community for the veterinary profession in the UK.

It represents the views of over 19,000 vets and vet students on animal health and welfare, and veterinary policy issues to government, parliamentarians and key influencers in the UK and EU.