The UK’s chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss has been made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the King’s New Year honours. The Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry and is second only to a damehood or knighthood.
The honour recognises Middlemiss’s crucial role in maintaining the high standard of animal health and welfare in the UK following Brexit, and her efforts in managing the largest ever outbreak of avian influenza flu.
“I am truly humbled to be awarded this honour,” said Middlemiss. “For me, it demonstrates the recognition of the importance of having vets in government and what we do. As we’ve seen over the last few years, vets have a critical role in a variety of issues including new and emerging diseases, food supply and supporting people fleeing conflict with their beloved pets.
“I am very proud of the work we do and I am passionate about inspiring confidence in women and girls hoping to pursue careers in science, as well as ensuring that we have highly expert and experienced public sector vets to continue to make a significant positive impact.”
Defra Permanent Secretary Tamara Finkelstein said: “Since becoming chief veterinary officer in 2018, Christine has achieved accomplishments of national and international importance, so I am delighted to see her huge contributions to veterinary, farming and the United Kingdom being recognised in this way.
“She has repeatedly provided outstanding leadership and valuable expert advice whilst dealing with extremely challenging issues – her honour is thoroughly deserved.
“Throughout her time as CVO, Christine has represented the UK on the international stage, including at the G7 summit, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) discussions at the World Organisation for Animal Health, and at several bilateral trade negotiations.”