Scottish Animal Welfare Commission: member biographies

Biographies of the members of the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission.

Professor Cathy Dwyer

Animal Behaviour and Welfare, SRUC and Director, Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education

Cathy is head of the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research Team at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in Edinburgh since 2011. Since 2016 Professor Cathy Dwyer is also the Director of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh. The Centre provides animal welfare education for veterinarians, and other groups, in UK and overseas, particularly in Asia, and seeks to improve the lives of animals through veterinary education. The work of the research team at SRUC addresses animal welfare problems and seeks solutions for all the major farmed species, and is one of the largest animal welfare research groups in Europe. Cathy’s own research interests include maternal behaviour, offspring development and neonatal survival, pain and the welfare of animals kept in extensive management conditions. Her work spans fundamental understanding of the biology of behaviour and stress to application in the field where she works closely with advisers and consultants to provide solutions to welfare problems. She has been involved in several interdisciplinary and participative research projects, which have engaged with farmers and other stakeholders to co-construct the project, address welfare problems and develop on farm solutions derived bottom-up. In 2013 Cathy was awarded the BSAS/RSPCA award for outstanding contribution to animal welfare. She is a member of the EU Animal Welfare Platform, and provides scientific advice to a number of other Government, retailer and NGO organisations in animal welfare. In addition to undergraduate teaching, she teaches on the University of Edinburgh MSc programmes in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, and the online programme in International Animal Welfare Ethics and Law, and is currently supervising seven PhD students, addressing welfare issues in sheep and horses.

Dr Harvey Carruthers

Veterinary Surgeon

Harvey qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Glasgow University in 1990. He joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps on graduation and worked as a Veterinary Officer both in the UK and abroad looking after dependant’s pets, working dogs and horses. His final post was at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in Knightsbridge, London. He then worked at the Ministry of Defence for two years with responsibility for Biological Countermeasures, as point of contact with other MOD agencies, and NATO allies. On leaving the MOD Harvey entered veterinary general practice and has worked in over 20 practices, ranging from independent mixed practice to small animal corporate and charity practices. He has volunteered for, worked for, or been on the Board of Trustees for multiple animal welfare charities. He gained a Master’s in Business Administration in 2006, the dissertation for which analysed the macroeconomic effects on veterinary practice. He has a Master's degree in Buddhist ethics and philosophy, and gained a Certificate in small animal medicine in 2013. Harvey has published a book, The Gundog Veterinary Bible and has contributed to academic research relating to inherited disease in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. He was formerly Clinical Director of Perthshire’s largest veterinary practice. His clinical work was focussed on small animals, working with local and national charities and his Official Veterinary Surgeon role. He was previously CEO of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlander’s Museum and Trusts, an army veterans’ welfare and education charity. He is currently CEO of the Fife Young Carers charity. He has an MSc in International Animal Welfare, Law and Ethics.

Mike Radford

Reader in Animal Welfare Law and Public Law, University of Aberdeen

Mike established in 1992 at the University of East Anglia the first course in animal welfare law to be offered by a university law school in the UK (and, so far as he is aware, Europe). During the ensuing years, as well as contributing to the development of public policy, he has also sought to encourage and better equip those from other disciplines with relevant expertise but less familiarity with law and the political process also to become involved in evaluating and influencing policy relating to animals. Mike is presently a member of the governing council of Dogs Trust, Vice-Chair of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), Vice-Chair of the Humane Slaughter Association, a trustee of the UK Centre for Animal Law/Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare (ALAW), Chair of ALAW’s Scottish Steering Committee, and a visiting lecturer at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Vet Schools. He was a founder member of both ALAW and the Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Veterinary Association (AWSELVA). Amongst his previous positions, he has been a trustee of the PDSA, a member of the Companion Animal Welfare Council, Deputy Chair of the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding, and a member of the RCVS Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law Board. Mike was appointed OBE in 2008 for services to animal welfare law.

Paula Boyden

Veterinary Director, Dogs Trust UK

Paula Boyden graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 1992. She spent 11 years in general practice, both mixed and latterly companion animal practice, before moving into a technical role in industry in 2003.

Paula joined Dogs Trust in 2010, where she is now Veterinary Director. In addition to veterinary matters, overseeing the veterinary care of the dogs within DTs 20 rehoming centres, her responsibilities include Dogs Trust’s outreach work (providing support for dogs belonging to victims fleeing domestic abuse, and care for dogs belonging to homeless people), campaigns (encouraging pet owners in responsible dog ownership) and public affairs (working towards improved dog welfare legislation). Paula has a particular interest in the link between violence to animals and violence to people; she is current Chair of the Links Group and is regularly involved in undergraduate training on Non-Accidental Injury (NAI) within the UK veterinary schools.

Paula is a founder member and past treasurer of the Association of Charity Vets and board member of the Blue Dog Trust. She chairs the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG), is vice chair of the Canine and Feline Sector group, sits on the RSPCA’s Prosecutions Oversight Panel and is a member of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group. She has sat on working groups for both the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA). In 2017 Paula received BSAVA’s J A Wight Memorial Award for her contribution to the welfare of companion animals.

Professor Marie Haskell

Senior Researcher and Professor of Animal Welfare Science, SRUC

Marie Haskell is a member of the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Team at SRUC and is currently a Senior Researcher at SRUC. She has worked at SRUC (formerly SAC) and the Roslin Institute. She has extensive experience of research into dairy cow behaviour and welfare with a particular focus on the effects of housing and management. Past projects have included assessing effects of continuous housing, organic farming and effects of genetic selection on behaviour. She has also carried out work into creating new welfare assessment measures, with a particular focus on animal behaviour, and in applying these to cattle, sheep and, more recently, to salmon. Additionally, Marie has been involved in studies that have characterised temperament or personality in cattle and dogs and the underlying genetics of personality and temperament.

She is also interested in the cognitive abilities, emotional responses and personality of animals and how these abilities and attributes influence the welfare of the individual. Marie lectures on MSc courses at the University of Edinburgh, and BSc courses at SRUC, and supervises students at a range of levels.

Dr James Yeates

CEO, World Federation for Animals

Dr James Yeates is the Chief Executive of World Federation for Animals, a membership organisation for national, regional and international animal protection organisations. He was previously Chief Executive of Cats Protection UK and Chief Veterinary Officer at RSCPA. He has authored over 60 academic and professional publications, including four books on animal welfare, ethics and veterinary science. He was previously Chair of the British Veterinary Association’s Ethics and Welfare Group, Honorary Secretary of the Society for Practising Veterinary Surgeons and member of the Equine Disease Coalition.

Libby Anderson

Animal Welfare Policy Advisor

From 2015 to 2020 Libby was the Policy Advisor for OneKind (formerly Advocates for Animals) and was previously the charity’s Policy Director from 2006 to 2015. OneKind works to achieve improved legislation to protect all animals in Scotland, in areas such as animal sentience, wild animal welfare, welfare of farmed animals, breeding and sale of companion animals and the human-animal bond. Over the years, Libby has engaged with fellow stakeholders, officials and decision makers on legislation such as the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 and the Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (Scotland) Act 2018.

Libby worked for the Scottish SPCA from 1994 to 2004 and after that as a consultant for animal protection groups and Scottish local authorities. She was involved in founding the Cross-Party Group on Animal Welfare in the Scottish Parliament and acted as Secretary for several years. Currently, she is the Secretary of the Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC) and a member of the Scottish steering group of the UK Centre for Animal Law (ALAW).

Professor Simon Girling

Head of Veterinary Services, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Professor Girling has been a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine since 2003 and a EBVS® European Veterinary Specialist in Zoo Health Management since its creation in 2012. He is a past president of the British Veterinary Zoological Society and the European College of Zoological Medicine. In 2013 Dr Girling set up the first UK European College training centre at the Royal Zoological Society for Scotland in Zoo Health Management to train the next generation of specialist veterinary surgeons in zoo and wildlife medicine. He has authored and co-authored over 150 publications around veterinary medicine of non-domestic/wild animals including many standard textbooks for veterinary medicine. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2012 and a Fellow of the RCVS for Meritorious Contributions to the Profession in 2016. Professor Girling is currently Head of Veterinary Services to the RZSS, Chair of DEFRA’s Zoo Experts Committee, an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor to Glasgow University’s Veterinary School and a Visiting Professor to the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Mike Flynn

Chief Superintendent at the Scottish SPCA

Mike started with the Scottish SPCA in May 1987: Initiated and started the Scottish SPCA undercover unit, as a single unit, working on organised dog fighting, Badger baiting, puppy farms etc. He wrote the first Inspectors instruction manual that was approved by Crown Office.

He is currently responsible for; all uniformed staff within the Society, all Parliamentary issues relating to animal welfare regarding both devolved and reserved issues, dealing with all animal welfare related Government consultations, including oral evidence to both Scottish and Westminster Committees. He is the main contact for Scottish Government officials and first point of contact for any MSPs’, MPs’ and Euro MPs’ concerns. He prepares and signs all MOUs between Police Scotland, APHA and local authorities to avoid duplication of work.

Mike is a founder member of the original Links Group (exploring the link between animal and human abuse), and current member of the Science and Ethics Committee of Edinburgh Zoo. Independent external animal welfare advisor on the welfare and ethics committee of Scotland's largest scientific animal research company. He has assisted in implementing legislation in Jersey, North and Southern Ireland, Canada and Catalonia.

Awarded an MBE in the Queens 80th birthday honours list.

An Honorary Associate of both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the British Veterinary Association.

Dr Pete Goddard

Veterinary Surgeon

Pete is a veterinary surgeon and recognized EBVS European veterinary specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law. He is also a Diplomate of the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management. Until retirement, he was a senior manager at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen where he is now an Honorary Fellow. He headed the Institute’s Ecological Sciences Group. This comprised around 85 scientific research and support staff and, in addition, a variable number of short-term visitors from around the world and at any one time around 30 PhD students based at the Institute and sponsoring departments. His particular interest has always been animal welfare, focusing especially on welfare in ruminants under extensive systems of management and the health and welfare of wild and semi-managed animals. He has published more than 70 scientific papers, many based on multi-partner collaborations, and has authored 10 book chapters, most recently in the latest edition of Livestock Handling and Transport edited by Temple Grandin and in Animal Welfare in Extensive Systems edited by Juan Villalba. For many years he was a member of the Editorial Board of Applied Animal Behaviour Science and regularly reviews articles for AABS and other journals. In addition to conducting research, he had responsibility for animal health at the Institute’s research farms in Scotland.

Pete has been Chair of the Animal Welfare Science Ethics and Law Veterinary Association (AWSELVA) and President of the North of Scotland division of the British Veterinary Association. For 6 years he was a trustee of the Animal Welfare Foundation and remains a member of their funding panel. He is external examiner in both Animal Life and the Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practice in animal welfare science, ethics and law at the Dick Vet. School in Edinburgh. Pete is a Project Advisory Group member for a major European project looking at sustainability of European farming systems through the wider adoption of agroecological processes – UNISECO. He chairs the Wild Animal Welfare Committee (WAWC). 

Dr Ellie Wigham

Lecturer in Veterinary Public Health, University of Glasgow.

Ellie is a lecturer in Veterinary Public Health at the School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow.

She graduated from the University of Cambridge Vet school in 2015 having also completed an intercalated degree in experimental psychology. She then moved to New Zealand to work for the Ministry of Primary Industries, conducting official controls in a red meat slaughter facility. After one year she moved back to the UK to undertake a PhD at the University of Bristol exploring the impacts of welfare training in red and white meat slaughter facilities. Alongside her PhD she also began a residency in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law as part of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Medicine, the final exams for which she is due to sit in autumn 2022.

She joined the University of Glasgow in 2019 and alongside teaching veterinary students is involved in a range of welfare-based projects, both as a researcher and student supervisor. Her main research interests include animal welfare at slaughter and killing, and the use of technology for automatic monitoring of welfare indicators.

Dr Andrew Kitchener

Principal Curator of Vertebrates at the National Museum of Scotland

Dr Andrew Kitchener is the Principal Curator of Vertebrates at National Museums Scotland, where has been carrying out research into the welfare impacts of captivity on zoo animals related to activity, nutrition and skeletal pathologies. He has also been active in developing novel methods of environmental enrichment for captive mammals, including killer whales, bears and fruit bats. Andrew is a member of the Animal Welfare and Ethics Group of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Animal Welfare Committee of the Zoological Society of Scotland. He also has strong links to the conservation community as Chair of the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Chair of the Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan Steering Group, member of the IUCN Cat Specialist and Equid Specialist Groups. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Glasgow.

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