Posted 3 February 2012
“I see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to empower animal keepers and farmers, to build trust between them and Government and form a working partnership at all levels,”
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Harper Adams University College welcomed Michael Seals MBE, Chairman of the new Animal Health and Welfare Board for England, to the campus this week.
In addition to informal meetings with staff and students, Mr Seals, an alumnus of Harper Adams, gave a talk to a packed lecture theatre about how the board will operate.
“I see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to empower animal keepers and farmers, to build trust between them and Government and form a working partnership at all levels,” he said.
Mr Seals explained that, while the board is made up of independent people, it is a part of government.
He added: “This board involves itself in the decision making process. Civil servants will no longer take matters directly to ministers for a decision. They will have to go through the board. Any decisions made will be challenged by the board and that challenge is going to be made public.
“The decisions we make and the recommendations we make to ministers will also be made public. If the ministers disagree, that disagreement will be made public. It will be open, transparent and interesting.
“The meetings of the board itself will remain relatively private, because some of the information we will be dealing with is sensitive. It’s a fascinating position to be in; a system that has never been tried before in this country.”
Harper Adams Principal Dr David Llewellyn said: “We were pleased to be able to welcome Michael Seal on a visit to Harper Adams, and that his talk was attended by such a large audience of students and staff. The Animal Health and Welfare Board for England will play an important role within Government, and it was good to hear about its work at first hand so early in the development of the Board’s work programme.”
Further information about the board can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/ahwbe