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NPA welcomes new chair of Animal Health and Welfare Board for England

10th Sep 2021 / By Alistair Driver

The NPA has welcomed the appointment of Professor Jonathan Statham as the new chair of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE).

Jonathan StathamProfessor Statham, who has been a non-executive director on AHWBE since 2017, will start the role on November 1, replacing current chair, Michael Seals, who is standing down after 10 years in the role. In the meantime, he will be working alongside Mr Seals in his role as chair-designate.

He is a qualified veterinarian and partner at the Bishopton Veterinary Group in Yorkshire and has years of experience of working with the farming industry. He is also chief executive officer at RAFT Solutions Ltd and a Professor of Sustainable Livestock Health & Welfare at Harper and Keele Veterinary School.

AHWBE, launched in 2011, is the principal source of advice to Defra ministers on all strategic health and welfare matters relating to kept animals in England, and has been heavily involved in the health and welfare pathways for England's livestock sectors. 

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."

Mr Seals said: "Jonathan will be an excellent new Chair and I am confident he will continue the great work of the board and bring new experiences to the role."

Biosecurity Minister Lord Benyon said: "With extensive veterinary and farming experience, Jonathan will play a key role in improving the health and welfare of kept animals in England over the coming years."

"I also want to thank Michael Seals for his dedication in leading the organisation over the past decade."

NPA senior policy adviser Rebecca Veale said: "We welcome Professor Statham’s appointment and look forward to working with him as chair going forward, particularly on the animal health and welfare pathway, which is a collaborative project we’re excited to be part of."