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Animal Welfare Commission named

Published Monday, 2nd March 2020 in Research news

Professor Cathy Dwyer will chair the new 12-person commission on animal welfare
Professor Cathy Dwyer will chair the new 12-person commission on animal welfare

Members have been appointed to Scotland’s first independent Animal Welfare Commission, which is chaired by Professor Cathy Dwyer from SRUC.

Prof Marie Haskell, also from SRUC, is among the 12 Commission members, who have expertise in animal welfare and will provide scientific and ethical advice to the Scottish Government.

The group will consider:

  • how the welfare needs of sentient animals are being met by devolved policy
  • possible legislative and non-legislative routes to further protect the welfare of sentient animals
  • the research required for an evidence base for future policy development

Rural Affairs Minister Mairi Gougeon said: “I am delighted to appoint these experts to work with Professor Dwyer and I very much look forward to working closely with them. Each member of the Animal Welfare Commission shares a passion for animal welfare and brings invaluable key skills and knowledge.

“Scotland has high standards when it comes to animal welfare and this Commission will play an important role in strengthening and improving the protection we offer to animals.

“The Commission will specifically consider how our current policies take account of animal sentience, the wider welfare needs of animals and what improvements could be made.”

Professor Dwyer said: “We have been able to appoint a really strong Commission covering a range of different disciplines and areas of expertise. I am looking forward to working closely with these experts to be able to make a real difference to the welfare of animals in Scotland.

“There are lots of challenges ahead, but we have the right team to be able to tackle these, and we are looking forward to getting started.”

Background

The Animal Welfare Commission members are:

  • Professor Cathy Dwyer from Scotland’s Rural College and the University of Edinburgh (Chair)
  • Dr Harvey Carruthers, veterinary surgeon
  • Mike Radford, lawyer specialising in Animal Welfare
  • Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dogs Trust
  • Professor Marie Haskell, Professor in Animal Welfare Science at Scotland’s Rural College
  • Dr James Yeates, Chief Executive Officer of Cats Protection
  • Libby Anderson, policy advisor to OneKind
  • Dr Simon Girling, Head of Veterinary Services, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
  • Mike Flynn, Chief Superintendent at the Scottish SPCA
  • Dr Pete Goddard, veterinary surgeon
  • Professor Tim Parkin, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Andrew Kitchener, Principal Curator of Vertebrates at the National Museum of Scotland

Appointments to the Commission are for four years and members will receive no financial remuneration for their time. Members were selected for appointment solely on the basis of their knowledge and expertise and will serve as individuals and not as representatives of any organisation.

A sentient animal is one that can experience feelings such as pain or pleasure.



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