24 May 2019
An interim States Veterinary Officer has been appointed to fill the role for five months while a permanent replacement is found.
Brian Smith, who has been seconded from Defra, will replace Theo Knight-Jones, who leaves today (Friday, 24 May) after almost three years in the post.
Director of Natural Environment, Willie Peggie, said: “I want to thank Theo for all his hard work and for the contribution he has made to the island. His calm and pragmatic advice has been well received and much appreciated. We are grateful to have Brian step into the role, his expertise will be extremely valuable as we negotiate to the other side of Brexit and in helping with the delivery of a wide variety of necessary initiatives.
“We have a great working relationship with Defra which has made this temporary secondment possible. We are reviewing the job description as part of the current departmental restructure, and will begin interviewing for a permanent States Vet as soon as we are able to.”
Mr Smith qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Cambridge in 1976 and spent the first part of his career in clinical practice. He initially worked in a farm practice in Devon and subsequently ran his own small animal practice in Essex. He joined Defra in 2001 where he worked in all aspects of the field of prevention and control of notifiable disease, animal welfare, international trade and public health.
Over the past 10 years his work has focused on import controls and audit of border inspection posts, export certification, responsibility for rabies controls and quarantine, Balai management of zoo animals and EU trade in animals and animal products. He was responsible for the implementation of the changes to the Pet Travel Scheme in 2012 and 2014 including assistance dogs. In the last year Mr Smith worked as a policy adviser to Defra in the Border Readiness Team, working with meat exporters and animal traders in preparation for any potential Brexit outcome.
Mr Smith said: “I look forward to offering my expertise over the summer months to fill this important role working with animals and those who depend on them for their livelihood.”