The BVA has welcomed the DEFRAannouncement on the membership of the Responsibility and Cost SharingAdvisory Group, in particular the appointment of BVA president-elect, Bill Reilly.

Bill ReillyThe RCS Advisory Group, announced yesterday, has been formed to examine government plans for a new independent animal health body. It has an independent chair and includes livestock industry representatives, vets and consumer organisations.

On Professor Reilly’s appointment, a BVA spokesman said: “The BVA is pleased that the RCS Advisory Group will benefit from strong veterinary input and looks forward to working with the Group to improve animal health and welfare in the future.”

According to DEFRA, the group is scheduled to meet for the first time in early October, and is expected to make recommendations to government by the end of next year. It will:

  • Advise on the responsibilities, scope and functions of the new body, including how best to ensure its animal health policies and Defra’s animal welfare policies remain aligned;
  • Consider the constitution of the new body, its membership and its ways of working in order to maximise its benefits of to the public and farming industry;
  • Examine DEFRA’s current use of resources in meeting the challenges of animal health, and consider how they should be deployed and prioritised to maximise the new body’s efficiency.

DEFRA also announced the dissolution of the England Implementation Group (EIG), set up in 2005 to oversee delivery of the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy in England. Three former EIG members have joined the RCS Advisory Group.

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The members (and sectors) are: Rosemary Radcliffe (chair), John Reed(Poultry meat), Richard Kempsey (Eggs), Mike Sheldon (Pigs), JamesFanshawe (Beef), Jonathan Barber (Sheep), Tim Brigstocke (Dairy), TimMorris (Equines), Richard Elliott (Tenant farmer), Will Cockbain (Hillfarmer, NFU), Helen Browning (individual, Organic), Diane McCrea(Consumer), Bill Reilly (Veterinary), Brian Harding, (DEFRA), AlickSimmons (DEFRA), Andrea Young (DEFRA), plus one other from DEFRA to beconfirmed.

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