AWF trustees are all qualified veterinary professionals. As vets and vet nurses are involved in all aspects of animal care this gives us a unique insight into animal welfare challenges and guides us towards possible solutions.
A Bristol graduate, Chris worked for 30 years in a predominantly small animal practice in Chippenham. In 1998 he joined the RSPCA and the following year became the charity’s Chief Veterinary Officer. Chris was subsequently Veterinary Director at the Dogs Trust from 2003 until 2011. He was awarded an MBE in recognition of his work on the Animal Welfare Acts of 2006. Chris is also Chair of the Canine and Feline Sector Group of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England.
After graduating from Liverpool Julian worked in mixed practice concentrating on livestock and was a partner in a veterinary hospital in the South West. Since leaving practice he has worked in senior management in the service sector industry and latterly spent several years in the pharmaceutical industry with major technical roles. Julian brings knowledge of marketing, operational management, strategic planning and the charitable sector. He remains active in his local BVA subdivision and is a past president of WCVA.
Matt Dobbs is the Managing Director of Westpoint vets and director of the Origin Group. The Origin Group delivers animal health and welfare services to all livestock species through a network of veterinary practices and professional support businesses. The group includes Westpoint, FarmVets SouthWest, Garth Pig Practice, Poultry Health Services, Minster Poultry and Oakwood Vets. It also includes Biobest laboratories and the consultant/research company, Kingshay.
Alongside his management role, Matt is still an active practitioner working with the dairy farmers of West Sussex and Surrey. He is a director of the Surrey Agricultural Society and honorary lecturer at the University of Surrey. Most importantly, he is Dad to Henry, Rosie and Aoife (and can be found most weekends on the side-lines of hockey pitches across the SE) and husband to his long suffering wife Sharon!
Daniella graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2012, having previously obtained a BSc in Molecular Genetics from Kings College London. She has been in small animal and exotics practice since graduating, currently working in Kent and studying towards her Cert AVP Zoological Medicine. Her passion is ethics and animal welfare and she is a past chair of the BVA Ethics and Welfare Advisory Panel, and served as BVA President 2019-2020.
Rebecca is a registered veterinary nurse and a member of the British Veterinary Nursing Association. She graduated from Harper Adams University in 2013 with an honours degree in Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management. After recently returning from a 12-month sabbatical, she currently works at PDSA in Liverpool. During her sabbatical, she spent time volunteering at multiple international projects including those in Cambodia, Romania and the Galapagos. Having gained a wealth of experience both at PDSA and worldwide, she enjoys working with the community and their pets to improve their physical and psychological wellbeing through welfare-focused education.
After graduating from the University of Liverpool Vet School with an intercalated Master’s degree from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Stacey worked in practice. In 2011, Stacey embarked on a PhD at Harper Adams University focusing on dairy herd health planning. During her PhD, Stacey became passionate about knowledge transfer and once she completed her PhD worked for an online CPD provider, The Webinar Vet. Stacey has also worked for the British Veterinary Nursing Association as the Head of Learning & Development.
Dr Simon Doherty is the Animal Science & Aquaculture Specialist for the UK Department for International Trade. He provides expert advice on trade and investment associated with animal health and aquaculture – from companion animal nutrition and livestock genetics, to veterinary pharmaceuticals and aquaculture installations.
He is a certified aquaculture veterinarian, an accredited CowSignals Trainer, and an Honorary Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast. He has been an author on many peer-reviewed publications and reports covering topics as diverse as vaccine design, bovine mastitis, tail-biting in pigs, emerging & re-emerging diseases and salmonid feed additives.
Simon is the Senior Vice-President of the NI Branch of BVA. He is a trustee of the livestock development charity, Send a Cow, and as a STEM Ambassador, he provides careers advice and mentoring services to veterinary school applicants.
Glasgow Graduate Kathryn worked in mixed practice and completed a farm animal internship before undertaking a PhD at the University of Liverpool investigating milk composition on organic and non-organic farms.
Subsequently she returned to the University of Glasgow in 2005 as a clinician in Farm Animal clinical sciences. Kathryn’s role is very varied and includes clinical teaching of veterinary undergraduates and post graduates and clinical veterinary services.
She has an active research interest in various aspects of cattle and sheep health and welfare, including the welfare of cows and calves at calving, gastrointestinal parasite control and has maintained an interest in organic farming systems and organic animal health.
Fiona brings 20 years of experience in the charitable and not for profit sector, within agriculture and conservation.
Whilst working as a mixed practice vet Fiona organised farmers’ meetings for the Moredun Foundation which supports livestock health and welfare through research and education, becoming a Board member of the Foundation and Institute. During the amalgamation of the six levy boards to form AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) Fiona worked initially as an independent member of the Potato Council and then as Board member of AHDB and Chair of AHDB Potatoes.
She is currently Deputy Chairman of CIEL (Centre of Innovation Excellence in Livestock); a business led collaboration of 12 UK Universities and Institutes, one of 4 AgriTech Centres.
She is a Council member of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution). She is a member and past Chairman of the Farne Islands Advisory Committee to the National Trust, and spent many years on the NT Regional Advisory Board for the North.
Senior Lecturer in Animal Welfare and Behaviour Science
Charlotte is a biologist who has specialised in animal welfare and behaviour. She conducts scientific research to improve understanding of animal welfare at the Royal Veterinary College. She also leads a degree course in Animal Biology, Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics. Her expertise covers many animals, and has included research on laboratory rodents, dairy cows, zoo bears, and pet dogs. She has an interest in scientific communication and how to create evidence-based animal welfare improvements in the real world.
Associate Partner, Rossdales LLP
Deidre has been working as a vet in a large equine practice for more than 30 years with her main areas of interest currently being stud medicine and general ambulatory work. She spent several years as chair and trustee for a small local charity which supports human/animal relationships during times of hardship or vulnerability. She believes that much of the poor animal welfare we witness is due to ignorance rather than deliberate cruelty – although sadly there is still too much of the latter – and so education is the key to improving the way we treat, manage and interact with animals of all shapes and sizes.
Romain Pizzi is a RCVS and European recognised specialist in Zoo & Wildlife Medicine. He is a member of DEFRA’s Animal Welfare Committee, as well as working for the Scottish SSPCA National Wildlife Rescue Centre, is founder of Wildlife Surgery International and a director of Zoological Medicine Ltd.
He is an honorary assistant professor in zoo & wildlife medicine at the University of Nottingham. He is veterinary advisor to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria for penguins and common squirrel monkeys, International Wildlife Surgery Advisor to Free The Bears Fund, and is a member of the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group.
Veterinary Services Manager, Marwell Wildlife
Justine has been a vet for over eleven years, initially working with farm animals, horses and domestic pets and now also working with wildlife in zoos and the wild. Justine is passionate about improving the welfare of all animals, both wild and domestic, and believes that public education is vital to improving knowledge and understanding around animal welfare issues. As well as her veterinary degree, Justine has a BSc in Veterinary Pathology and an MSc in Wild Animal Health and regularly lectures at the University of Surrey. Justine loves wildlife photography, travelling and running up mountains – ideally with a dog at her side!