Poultry expert to lead RSPCA farm science division

The RSPCA has appointed a poultry specialist as head of its farm animal department – the largest of the charity’s four science units.

Marc Cooper, who has worked at the RSPCA for 12 years, has a PHD in animal behaviour and welfare and has spent his career largely focused on poultry.

Dr Cooper said the team under his leadership would “continue to take an evidence based, considered and pragmatic approach to our work, and will strive to positively engage with the food and farming industries to achieve change together”.

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“I am very fortunate to be leading a fantastic, dedicated team of experts who are not only passionate about what they do, but also have an essential combination of academic expertise as well as hands-on practical experience.”

The farm animal department includes a team of seven farm livestock officers, who work in the field and monitor RSPCA Assured farms.

A majority of free-range hens in the UK are kept to the RSPCA’s Freedom Food standard, now marketed as RSPCA Assured, as are a growing number of broilers.

Dr Cooper replaces Julia Wrathall, who takes overall responsibility for the charity’s four science departments.

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