New DEFRA board members announced

The names of the first members of England’s animal health and welfare board have been announced by DEFRA.

The new board will work with the chief veterinary officer and civil servants to develop strategic animal health and welfare policy.

The new members are:

Stewart Houston, chairman, British Pig Executive 
Stuart Roberts, livestock director, Anglo Beef Processors
Mark Tufnell, farmer and tax adviser
Tim Morris, director, British Horseracing Authority

These non-executive members will join the chairman of the board Michael Seals who is a livestock and arable farmer and director of the Fallen Stock Company.

DEFRA farm minister Jim Paice announced the names during a visit to the Borderway Agri-Expo in Carlisle.

“Farmers, veterinarians and animal keepers have a wealth of experience and knowledge.

“We are bringing them to the heart of government to advise on the policies that affect them, and ensure good animal welfare standards.

“This is the Big Society in action and I am delighted we have four strong members to work with the Chair and bring us their expertise.”

Board chairman Michael Seals added that he was keen to begin work.

“The appointment of these members means that we are now ready to get on with business and I am looking forward to the  first meeting of the board in early November.”


Stewart Houston
A pig producer in North Yorkshire since 1970, Mr Houston is chairman of the British Pig Executive and the National Pig Association. He is also managing director of Microware Pig Systems and  a non-executive director of the Scottish
Agricultural College. He has been awarded a CBE for services to the pig industry.
Professor Tim Morris
Director of the Department of Equine Science and Welfare at the British Horseracing Authority and was, until recently, chairman of the British Horse Industry Confederation. He is a veterinary surgeon with a PhD in livestock reproduction.

Stuart Roberts
Agriculture and livestock director at Anglo Beef Processors where he has responsibility for all aspects of agriculture and livestock policy as well as sustainability. Prior to this, he was chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association and spent eight years within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the Food Standards Agency and DEFRA.

Mark Tufnell
Mark Tufnell runs a family farm in the Cotswolds. He is a chartered accountant and tax adviser and has a diploma in Advanced Agricultural Business Management from the Royal Agricultural College. Mr Tufnell chairs several groups including
the Business and Rural Economy sub-Committee for the Country Land & Business Association and the Audit & Risk Committee at the Three Counties Agricultural Society.