Biosecurity Minister Lord Benyon has appointed six non-executive directors to the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE).

The appointments of Peter Laurie; Emma Slawinski; Gwyn Jones; James Russell; John Reed; and Charles Sercombe will take effect from November 1, 2021 for three years, and the appointees will support the new chair Jonathan Statham.

All appointments to AHWBE are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. The appointments comply with the Ministerial Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Commenting on the appointments, Biosecurity Minister Lord Benyon said:

These appointments will bring a wealth of farming, veterinary and animal welfare experience to the vital work of the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England.

"The UK is a world leader in animal health, welfare and biosecurity and I look forward to working closely with the board to further build our knowledge, research and resilience in this important area."

Launched in 2011, the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) is the principal source of advice to Defra ministers on all strategic health and welfare matters relating to kept animals in England. Its responsibilities include animal health and welfare policy, assessing the threat from animal diseases, and reviewing contingency plans for disease outbreaks.