Sep 092021
The Animal Health and Welfare Board for England – Non-Executive Directors

Non-Executive Directors - The Animal Health and Welfare Board for England

Body: Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: Flexible with some travel to London
Number of Vacancies: 6
Remuneration: £300 per day plus reasonable expenses
Time Requirements: Time commitment is expected to be approximately 30 days per annum
Closed for Applications: 20/09/2021 at 12:00

Vacancy Description

The AHWBE was created in 2011 to provide advice to Defra Ministers on strategic animal health and welfare issues relating to England. Its scope covers the whole range of kept animals including companion animals and aquatic animal health.

The Non-Executive Directors of the Board provide leadership, championing the ethos of partnership working between industry, animal keeping sectors and Government. The Chair and the Board members act as a focal point for communication and co-ordination across the various sectors of industry, ensuring broad, deep, two-way engagement. This gives stakeholders with an interest in animal health and welfare a route into the heart of decision making on matters affecting them.

The Board has led the work on many policy areas including initiation and development of the Animal Health & Welfare Pathway and reform of the department’s contingency plans for managing exotic animal disease outbreaks. The Board also played a key role in the establishment of the Electronic Equine Database and refreshed policies on puppy smuggling You can learn more about the work of the Board in recent times at

The Board encourages and enables action by all animal keepers at individual and sectoral level to minimise threats to animal and public health and animal welfare, whilst maintaining competitiveness. The Board works collaboratively with teams across the Defra Group to achieve this. It looks at both policy development and its practical application, offering insight into which interventions or initiatives will be most effective in the different sectors.

Role description and person specification

The appointees will:

  • Provide strategic direction and advice from the AHWBE to Defra Ministers on the health & welfare of kept animals (including companion and aquatic animals)
  • Provide support to the Chair and other Non-Executive Board members and ensure Defra priorities are properly understood by industry stakeholders.
  • To assist and provide constructive challenge to Defra officials in the development of animal health & welfare policy.
  • Be able to take a strategic view in their decision-making, whilst acting with impartiality in providing evidence-based advice and guidance.
  • Support the development and ongoing delivery of the Animal Health & Welfare Pathway by working closely with policy and delivery officials.
  • Champion the potential for co-design in developing existing and new policy and communication e.g. through specific task and finish groups.
  • Have strong existing industry networks and to be able to expand these as needed.
  • Maintain and build links with industry, sector council groups and Defra Policy Teams.

Person Specification

Candidates must be able to demonstrate all of the following essential criteria:

  • Extensive working knowledge of animal health and welfare in the farming industry and/or companion animal sector, ideally of more than five years.
  • Ability to maintain a positive attitude and pro-active contribution to discussions and ongoing work to ensure the Board provides Defra with collectively agreed, soundly based, actionable advice in a timely manner.
  • Ability to lead specific work areas within the Board work plan• Ability to understand and value a different perspective and to build productive working relationships both within the Board, Defra and external experts and representatives.
  • Ability to examine issues in an impartial way and to be able to work collaboratively on a wide range of animal health & welfare related issues, drawing on, but not limited to their expertise.
  • Ability and willingness to work flexibly with Defra Policy Officials and where necessary Defra Ministers.

Additional Information

We expect to have candidates shortlist by 24 September 2021 and panel interviews to begin by W/C 27 September 2021.

It is essential that your statement of suitability gives full but concise information relevant to the appointment, clearly demonstrating how you meet each of the essential criteria.

At the shortlist meeting the panel will assess each application against the essential and desirable criteria and will then decide who to invite for final interview.

Interviews are expected to take place online via MS Teams and will last for approx. 45 minutes. Further details about the format will be provided to you in advance.

The appointment will commence in November 2021.

How to Apply

All candidates are required to complete the following form:

  • Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of Interest, Conduct and Political Activity Questionnaire)

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history and the names and contact details for two referees, together with their statement of suitability and two supporting statements from peers/stakeholder organisations or other experts.

Your statement of suitability should give evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the essential criteria for this role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria (max two pages please).

Your CV and statement should be returned to the following address by the closing date: 12.00 (midday) on 20 September 2021. Email to quoting reference AHWBE NED6.

For further information about the role please email:


This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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