New Board to Counter Animal Disease Threats

SCOTLAND, UK - A strategic board to oversee reforms of veterinary surveillance in Scotland has been created, following recommendations from an independent review.
calendar icon 14 March 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

In November, former National Farmer’s Union Scotland (NFUS) president John Kinnaird published his review, with proposals to improve the way vital information on animal disease is gathered, analysed and shared. The creation of a strategic management board – including industry and veterinary representation – was one of his key recommendations.

The new board meets for the first time on April 20 and will be chaired be Scotland’s acting chief vet Sheila Voas, with three independent members:

  • Colin Manson, a farmer from Forres who was NFUS Highland Regional Chairman from 2006 to 2010
  • Freda Scott-Park, co-ordinator for the Highland and Islands Veterinary Services Scheme and the former president of the British Veterinary Association
  • Dominic Mellor, Professor of Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health at University of Glasgow

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Last year I commissioned the review undertaken by John Kinnaird, to ensure Scotland has a robust and effective early warning system, which is able to quickly indentify new and emerging animal disease concerns. The recent arrival of the Schmallenberg virus in England demonstrates why we need to be able to react quickly to any threats.

“I was pleased to immediately accept the recommendation to create a strategic management board, bringing industry, veterinary and public health representation into the decision-making process. I’m delighted to announce the appointments of three highly experienced and respected individuals who will bring a wealth of knowledge and ability to the table.

The new board will work with the Scottish Government and surveillance providers to ensure we have a disease surveillance system that is fit for purpose and provides adequate protection.

“As the First Minister made clear in Parliament last week, through this board we will consult fully with farmers and vets around Scotland as we consider and take forward the recommendations set out in the Kinnaird report."

Colin Manson, a cattle, sheep and arable farmer from Brodiehill, Forres, was NFUS Highland Regional Chairman from 2006 to 2010. Earlier this year Colin was awarded the NFU Scotland Miskelly Award for outstanding services to agriculture.

Freda Scott-Park is the former president of the British Veterinary Association. Currently co-ordinator for the Highland and Islands Veterinary Services Scheme, she is also chairman of the Links Group, a multi-agency group that works to break the link between animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. She is a widely known and respected former practitioner, who runs a ‘dairy suckler’ unit beside Loch Lomond with her husband.

Dominic Mellor is Professor of Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health, University of Glasgow, and Veterinary Consultant to Health Protection Scotland. He is recognised as an authority in the area and has published widely on food animal disease and public health.

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