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.
After qualifying from the Royal School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Matt started life in companion and livestock veterinary practice in rural Dorset. In 1999 he returned to academia to continue his career, and held positions at the University of Sydney, US Davies in California, and at the Royal Veterinary College in London, where he was appointed lecturer and Senior Clinician.
After completing a RCVS Certificate, Matt returned to clinical practice, setting up his own veterinary businesses. With 37 clinics the group become the UK’s largest veterinary business in their sector, before managing a successful exit to Private Equity in 2018. His network of businesses included laboratories, digital animal health, first opinion and referral veterinary clinics.
Matt’s passion is innovative veterinary care, and he has received several awards for developing new and novel ways of ensuring the highest standards in animal care, including a Nuffield Scholarship and the Queens Award for Voluntary Services.
His main Executive role is as the Global Chief Medical Officer for Destination Pet, assisting with ensuring the group achieves the highest clinical standards, supporting the development of the Destination Pet digital strategy and helping to create the European development of the business.
Matt is active in vet tech and Agritech in the UK and is on the board of five Agritech businesses including the government Agritech strategy centre AgriEPI and vettech businesses VetYou and Vet Pursuits. He is also a consultant for Geneva based Animal Health consultancy Stonehaven and chair of the MWI Clinical Board. As a farm vet and a qualified lawyer, Matt still does the odd fertility routine visit and provides legal opinion on a number of animal welfare and litigation cases.
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.
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 the marine environment.
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 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 also a Non-Executive Director of the Covent Garden Market Authority in London.
Her charitable roles include being a Trustee of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), a member and past Chairman of the Farne Islands Advisory Committee to the National Trust.
Associate Professor 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, and a member of DEFRA’s Animal Welfare Committee, having worked in zoos, wildlife sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres internationally for two decades. 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.
Junior Vice President, British Veterinary Association and Veterinary Services Manager, Marwell Wildlife
Justine has been a vet for over twelve 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. In September 2020 Justine joined the officer team at the British Veterinary Association as Junior Vice President, where she is the officer lead for their animal welfare strategy as well as One Health and sustainability issues, all topics close to her heart. Justine loves wildlife photography, travelling, learning Italian, cooking and running up mountains – ideally with a dog at her side!