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Animal Disease Surveillance Board gets Chair

Royal Veterinary College Professor named as chair of the new government backed Animal Disease Surveillance Board.

royal veterinary college

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has announced the appointment of Professor Dirk Pfeiffer as chair of the new Animal Disease Surveillance Governance Board.

Dirk Pfeiffer is a Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and Head of the Veterinary Epidemiology, Economic and Public Health group in the Department of Production and Population Medicine at the Royal Veterinary College. Dirk is also the Head of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Reference Centre in Veterinary Epidemiology at the RVC. He is a current member of the Exotic Disease Subgroup, Defra’s Science Advisory Council, and has extensive experience in animal disease surveillance.

The Animal Disease Surveillance Governance Board is responsible for providing strategic advice to Defra and the Welsh Government through the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England, and the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group.

The Board will advise on the best use of Defra and Welsh Government funding for animal health surveillance, to retain the confidence of animal keeping sectors and enable government to meet national and international obligations.

It is a partnership board between government and industry and has been established as part of changes that APHA is making to its veterinary scanning surveillance system.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Pfeiffer says: “I am delighted to take on this role during a time when animal health surveillance in England and Wales is going through a period of significant change. The aim of this redesign is to increase the utility of surveillance information to stakeholders whilst ensuring value for money”.

Dr Paul Burr, Mr Ian McGrath, Mr Paul Roger and Dr Nick Fenwick have also been appointed to the Board, along with 2 ‘ex officio’ members, Nigel Gibbens, UK Chief Veterinary Officer, and Richard Irvine, APHA Head of Scanning Surveillance.

For further information, visit the APHA webpages

Information on the other members

  • Paul Burr is a veterinary surgeon and Director of Biobest Laboratories Ltd. He was previously a member of the Independent Surveillance Advisory Group, and is a Board member of the British Cattle veterinary Association.
  • Ian McGrath farms pedigree Holsteins across 250 acres in Cheshire, and is also a member of the TB Eradication Advisory Group, and a passionate communicator about disease surveillance and control.
  • Paul Roger is a former veterinary practitioner, who runs a veterinary consultancy from Yorkshire, as well as being an RCVS Specialist in Sheep Health and Production.
  • Nick Fenwick is Director of Agricultural Policy at the Farmers’ Union of Wales.

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