June 23, 2020


UK's Ruminant Health and Welfare Group appoints new chair


Nigel Miller has been appointed as chair of the newly formed Ruminant Health and Welfare Group (RHWG) for a two-year term effective June 1, 2020, AHDB reported.


Miller, a qualified vet and former NFU Scotland (NFUS) President, will lead the independent cattle and sheep industry group which is aimed at speeding up progress against endemic diseases and reputational challenges which are costing the cattle and sheep sectors at least GBP500 million per year.


He was appointed through open competition by a panel consisting of the Chief Veterinary Officer for UK, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland, the CEO of the National Sheep Association and the Chief Technical Officer for AHDB.


The RHWG has been formed following an industry-wide consultation* that showed a strong majority supporting the move in principle, with many believing it will accelerate work to control conditions like liver fluke, mastitis and lameness.


Miller said, "Endemic diseases in ruminants do not respect country borders or political boundaries and are a significant concern to farmers, the wider industry, governments and consumers due to their impact on animal health, welfare and food production.


"The RHWG will work independently to bring the industry and governments together to work collaboratively to speed up the fight against endemic disease in ruminants. I am committed to make this work for both sheep and cattle producers and excited to be part of a group that is focused on positive change."


The RHWG is now seeking applications for the role of Secretary General to support the Chair in ensuring the work of the group is delivered at pace. Further details can be found in the careers' portal on the AHDB website. The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday June 15, 2020.


Nigel Miller is a qualified vet and began his NFUS career as Chairman of the West Berwick Branch. He is a former Chairman of the NFUS Livestock Committee. Miller was Vice-President of NFUS from March 2007 and President from 2011 - 2015. He farms 1,500 acres in partnership with two of his sons in the Scottish Borders. The upland hill farm supports 160 cows and just over 1,000 breeding sheep, including hogs. Miller is also a Board member of Moredun Research Institute.