Veterinary school Professor appointed to Chair of Defra committee

A Professor from the Harper and Keele Veterinary School has been appointed as the new Chairman of a Government board advising ministers on animal health and welfare issues.

Jonathan Statham, Professor of Sustainable Livestock Health and Welfare, has been named as the new Chair of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England; a committee set up to provide advice to Defra ministers on all strategic health and welfare matters relating to kept animals in England.

Its responsibilities include animal health and welfare policy, assessing the threat from animal diseases, and reviewing contingency plans for disease outbreaks.

Professor Statham replaces the current Chair, Michael Seals, who is stepping down after 10 years in the role.

Professor Statham said: “I am delighted to have been appointed the next Chair of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England.

“As a large animal vet by profession, high animal health and welfare is close to my heart and something I know is very important to industry and wider society.

“It is a crucial point in time for the industry and for us as a board, with lots of key policies coming forward which bring along many challenges. It is an enormous privilege for me to take on this role once Michael Seals steps down. I look forward to working together with him and colleagues on the board.”

Professor Matt Jones, Head of the Harper and Keele Veterinary School added: “I’m personally delighted for Jonathan as this reflects his huge efforts in this area. It’s also really important for us at Harper and Keele Vet School with Jonathan leading our strategic theme of Sustainable Livestock Health and Welfare.”