Ref: 150/08
Date: 21 May 2008

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Chief Veterinary Officer appointed

Helen Ghosh, Defra’s Permanent Secretary today confirmed the appointment of Nigel Gibbens as Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO).

Nigel qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1981 and has spent most of his career involved in animal health and welfare with lead roles on international trade and exotic diseases. Since 1990 he has held a variety of operational and advisory positions in the Government's veterinary and policy services.  Nigel moved to the central animal health policy group in 1996 and worked on international trade for eight years, followed by surveillance and control of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and animal welfare.

He has also worked in general veterinary practice and for Government veterinary services in Belize and Yemen. 

He said:
“I am delighted to have been appointed to this important and challenging role. I intend to build on the successes and lessons learned from recent exotic disease outbreaks to ensure that these risks continue to be managed as effectively as possible.

“Defra and its Agencies must continue to work with animal keepers and the veterinary profession to deal with existing challenges such as Bluetongue and Tuberculosis, and to maintain good animal welfare standards and surveillance to identify and deal with any new threats. The Government will increasingly develop policy on disease control in partnership with key stakeholders and I am committed to ensuring that those decisions are founded on the best possible veterinary advice.”

Nigel’s first event as CVO will be to represent the UK at the World Animal Health Organisation General Session in Paris from 25 to 30 May.



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Page published: 21 May 2008

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs