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New chief veterinary officer appointed in Wales

From March 2022, Dr Richard Irvine will join the Welsh government as the new chief veterinary officer.

Dr Irvine is the current UK Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer and policy Deputy Director for Global Animal Health in Defra. He has a long history of service in the profession with a strong background in animal health and welfare, trade policy, as well as science and state veterinary medicine.

Other than spending time in a clinical mixed veterinary practice in South Wales, Dr Irvine has held several different roles leading animal health surveillance and science programmes at the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Regarding the recent appointment, Dr Irvine said: “I’m truly delighted to have been appointed as Wales’ Chief Veterinary Officer.

“I look forward to supporting Welsh farming in this role, by leading the collective work to safeguard the health and welfare of animals in Wales.”

Dr Irvine added he is looking forward to joining the Welsh government and working in collaboration with its partners and agencies who have all been doing their part in tackling health and welfare challenges facing the country.

“It is a real opportunity to make a difference and build on what has already been achieved,” Dr Irvine expressed. “I’m pleased to be able to come back to Wales, after spending some time here working as a vet in practice.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to play my part and look forward to starting my new role.”

Rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths was among the many welcoming the appointment and offered his congratulations to the prospective chief vet, saying: “He joins us as we strive to reach our long-term vision for the eradication of bovine TB in Wales, and we face the largest incursion of Avian Influenza the UK has ever seen.

“I look forward to working with him to deliver our ambitious Animal Health and Welfare goals and Programme for Government commitments.”

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