Final decisions on animal health and welfare policy will remain in the hands of Government Ministers.
The Board will be made up of around 12 members, 5 senior Defra officials including the Chief Veterinary Officer, and 7-8 external members including the chair. The external members will have experience and knowledge of kept and farmed animals, animal and veterinary science, and animal welfare, and could be farmers, veterinarians, animal welfare experts.
The Board and its members will have to represent the views of all stakeholders so will be expected to communicate with them regularly.
The Board’s responsibilities include:
• setting the strategic policy priorities;
• development of key policies and how they should be funded;
• assessing the risk of threats from animal disease and how to manage them;
• determining the surveillance and research priorities;
• reviewing and developing contingency plans for dealing with new disease outbreaks; and
• considering, what if any, charging mechanisms should be introduced.
The Board will not be set up as a non departmental public body or arms length body. It will form part of the internal structure of Defra.