The UK’s new deputy chief veterinary officer (DCVO) has been named as former Defra policy advisor Graeme Cooke.

Graeme Cooke
Defra’s new DCVO, Graeme Cooke.

Dr Cooke, who will begin his new role at the end of January, is an experienced vet who has worked in a variety of clinical practice types, with extensive time spent in both rural and urban communities.

Long history

He started working for Defra in 2002 as a policy advisor in planning disease outbreak preparedness, before working across areas of UK and EU animal welfare and disease, including international trade negotiations.

After this, he went on to become a director at the World Governing Body of Equestrian Sport, creating new frameworks to overcome a variety of animal health and welfare challenges while managing the organisation’s business growth. He has also worked closely with the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) and the EU, and has been a member of a number of expert working groups at both organisations.

Dr Cooke said: “I am delighted to be able to contribute to the work of maintaining the animal and public health status of the UK. It is a privilege to support our farming and food industry in this role.

“I am looking forward to working again with the team at Defra, its agencies, the devolved administrations and all the individuals and groups that will come together to meet future challenges across animal health and welfare.”

Strong candidate

CVO Nigel Gibbens said: “Graeme has been successful in securing the DCVO role against a strong field of candidates and he will be a great addition to the department.

“He will strengthen the animal health team in Defra to serve the interests of the whole of the UK as part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to maintaining our high animal health and welfare standards.”

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