Dr Richard Irvine has been announced as Wales’ new chief veterinary officer.
Dr Irvine is currently the UK deputy chief veterinary officer and policy deputy director for global animal health in Defra. He will join the Welsh government in March.
He is a highly experienced veterinarian with a background in animal health and welfare, trade policy, as well as science and state veterinary medicine.
He has held different roles leading animal health surveillance and science programmes at the Animal and Plant Health Agency, as well as time spent in a clinical mixed veterinary practice in South Wales.
“I’m truly delighted to have been appointed as Wales’ chief veterinary officer,” said Dr Irvine.
“I look forward to supporting Welsh farming in this role, by leading the collective work to safeguard the health and welfare of animals in Wales.
“I’m very much looking forward to working as part of the team in the Welsh Government, as well as with all the partners and agencies who work tirelessly to tackle the animal health and welfare challenges we face.
“It is a real opportunity to make a difference and build on what has already been achieved. I’m pleased to be able to come back to Wales, after spending some time here working as a vet in practice.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to play my part and look forward to starting my new role.”
Welcoming the appointment rural affairs minister Lesley Griffiths said: “Congratulations to Richard on his appointment as chief veterinary officer for Wales. He joins us as we strive to reach our long-term vision for the eradication of bovine TB in Wales, and we face the largest incursion of avian influenza the UK has ever seen.
“I look forward to working with him to deliver our ambitious animal health and welfare goals and programme for government commitments.”