Our trustees

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.

Chris Laurence - Chair

Chris Laurence - Chair

Chris Laurence - Chair

(CHAIR) MBE QVRM TD BVSc FRCVS

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.

Ben Mayes

Ben Mayes

Ben Mayes

(Deputy Chair) MA VETMB MRCVS

Cambridge graduate Ben dabbled in small and mixed practice before returning to his Mid-Surrey Pony Club roots in equine practice on the Surrey/West Sussex border. This is now Mayes and Scrine Equine Veterinary Practice, a five vet, RCVS PSS tier-2 100% equine practice with purpose built clinic facilities. He is a true equine general practitioner with clients from all disciplines of equine sport and is equally happy with routine call outs or in-house surgery. Ben joined BEVA Council in 2006 and was its 51st president.

Nicola Martin

Nicola Martin

Nicola Martin

BVSC MRCVS

Liverpool graduate Nicola worked in a small animal practice in Shropshire before joining the PDSA.  In 2012 she was appointed PDSA’s Head of Pet Health and Welfare with responsibility for using the charity’s communication channels to educate pet owners and young people about companion animal health and welfare. Nicola’s team developed and launched the highly regarded annual PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report in conjunction with YouGov and ran the education programme which reached over 300,000 children last year.  In 2018 Nicola became CEO of Canine Partners.

David Chennells

David Chennells

David Chennells

MA VET MB, CERT PM, MRCVS

Cambridge graduate David has spent most of his career in general practice, with the last 20 years specializing in pig work as the senior partner of a Bedford practice. David is a former president of the Pig Veterinary Society (PVS) and currently responsible for PVS publications, higher education and cpd. He is a member of the advisory committee of the RSPCA Freedom Foods and veterinary adviser to the technical committee of the Red Tractor/ Assured British Pigs Scheme.

Daniella Dos Santos

Daniella Dos Santos

Daniella Dos Santos

BSc BVetMed MRCVS

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 an active member of the BVA Ethics and Welfare Advisory Panel.

Graham Duncanson

Graham Duncanson

Graham Duncanson

MRCVS BVSc MSc (VetGP) DProf FRCVS

Over 40 years in practice has not diminished Graham Duncanson’s enthusiasm for his life as a vet. After graduating from Bristol, Graham spent eight years as a Government Veterinary Officer in Kenya. In 1975 he returned to work in general practice in Norfolk, where he continues to work today. A passionate animal welfare advocate, Graham regularly speaks to local groups on welfare issues.  He recently completed a fundraising cycle for AWF from Norfolk to Cape Town in 2016.

Rebecca Schofield

Rebecca Schofield

Rebecca Schofield

RVN BSc (Hons)

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.

Fred McKeating

Fred McKeating

Fred McKeating

BVMS FRCVS

After graduating from Glasgow, Fred enjoyed a successful and varied career in mixed and small animal practice before joining the Veterinary Defence Society. In his current role as Technical Director at VDS he contributes to the day to day running of the organisation in an Executive Director capacity. His experiences in practice have provided opportunities to compare different ethical approaches to the provision of veterinary care and their effects on animal welfare.

Julian Kupfer

Julian Kupfer

Julian Kupfer

BVSc LLM MRCVS

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

Matt Dobbs

Matt Dobbs

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!

Stacey Blease

Stacey Blease

Stacey Blease

After graduating from the University of Liverpool Vet School with an intercalated Masters 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 now works at The Webinar Vet which provides CPD for the veterinary industry.

Michael Appleby

Michael Appleby

Michael Appleby

Michael Appleby BSc PhD is a scientist specialising in behaviour, husbandry and welfare of farm animals. Publications include Animal Welfare (2011) and nine other books as author/editor, and Mike has lectured in more than 30 countries. From 2001 he worked for The Humane Society of the United States, then for World Animal Protection, based in London. Dr Appleby was on the Farm Animal Welfare Committee until 2016. He is Visiting Professor at Plymouth University and Scotland’s Rural College, and Honorary Fellow of Edinburgh University and the International Society for Applied Ethology. In 2017 he was awarded an OBE for services to animal welfare.

Simon Doherty

Simon Doherty

Simon Doherty

BVMS CertAqV MRCVS MRQA CBiol FRSB

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.

Gudrun Ravetz

Gudrun Ravetz

Gudrun Ravetz

BVSc MRCVS

Gudrun is President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and currently works as a Veterinary Consultant to Pet Health Plans from Denplan and as an external interviewer for prospective veterinary students at University of Liverpool. Over the years Gudrun has worked as a clinician in a variety of different small animal practices, both in private practice and charity.  As well as clinical jobs, Gudrun has also worked in a number of veterinary related roles including working in industry, management and as a veterinary consultant to a number of companies. Gudrun is also a trained harassment listener, a skill she uses through her involvement with the SPVS graduate support network.