Richard Irvine has been named as the new Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer (DCVO) for the United Kingdom following an extensive international recruitment campaign.
Irvine is an experienced veterinarian with a background in animal health and welfare policy and science. He currently is Deputy Director for ‘Global Animal Health and Trade’ in Defra, and has overseen a number of successful market access gains including recent agreements on exporting UK beef to China, the USA and Japan.
Prior to this, Irvine led the Animal and Plant Health Agency‘s (APHA’s) Surveillance Intelligence Unit and was Head of the National Reference Laboratory for Viral Diseases of Poultry at APHA Weybridge.
Welcoming the appointment, Christine Middlemiss said: “Richard has been successful in securing the DCVO role against a very strong field of candidates. I am confident that he will help meet the challenges we face and provide excellent support to me and others on veterinary and technical issues.
“Richard’s appointment comes at what is a very important and interesting time for Defra and the UK Government, and he will be a great asset to the veterinary senior leadership team in the Defra group.”
Commenting on his appointment, Richard Irvine said: “I am truly delighted to have been appointed, and to be able to both contribute to the work of maintaining and developing the animal health and welfare status of the UK, and represent these interests internationally. It is a privilege to support our farming and food industry in this role.
“I am very much looking forward to working with the team at Defra, its agencies, the devolved administrations, and all the individuals and groups who contribute together to not only cement the UK’s place as a world leader on animal welfare at these unique times, but also meet future challenges head-on across the animal health and welfare spectrum. I am delighted to have an opportunity to play a part in that.”