Two new appointments have been made to the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, after they were confirmed by Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths.
Sarah Carr and Les Eckford will join the group, increasing the number of members from seven to eight, after a recruitment drive earlier this year.
Both have extensive experience in the sector and impressed the interview panel with their knowledge of operational and strategic work within the areas of animal health and welfare in Wales.
The decision to appoint two members was made as increasing the size of the group will help the group cover a wider number of priorities and enable them to dedicate more time to existing priorities.
The aim of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group is to ensure healthy livestock are kept to high standards of welfare and lower the risk of the spread of animal diseases.
The group aims to do this through contingency plans, business continuity plans and speedy responses to welfare incidences.
Through a framework aiming to control and eliminate animal disease, the group hopes to contribute towards safer food and improved public health. Minimising the risk to people from diseases, such as salmonella, can also help reduce the demand on health services.
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said:
“I’m pleased to see Sarah Carr and Les Eckford join the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group and look forward to seeing their contribution over the next three years.
“Both Sarah and Les will bring a different set of valuable skills to the group, which will benefit our future learning and help us overcome the challenges we face.
“It is imperative every effort is made to prevent the spread of animal diseases and robust plans are put in place to ensure minimal impact on farmers and the wider public.
“The role of this group is essential in protecting the sector and ensuring high standards of animal welfare and health are not only met but maintained. As we prepare to leave the European Union, this will be more important than ever.”