The Companion Animal Sector Council (CASC) is being resurrected after a successful meeting held last week in the House of Lords, hosted by Lord Sandy Trees, supported by the Government’s Animal Health and Welfare Board for England and assisted by OATA and REPTA. The meeting brought together a wide range of organisations interested in animal welfare which overwhelmingly supported the need for the group.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the pet trade, the keeping community, welfare charities, vets, regulators and the education sector who all expressed their support to re-establish the group, which will provide a voice in government for organisations interested in the welfare of companion animals (other than dogs, cats and horses which have their own groups).

OATA Chief Executive Dominic Whitmee said: “The reinvigoration of this group provides a unique opportunity to provide advice and support to Government and Parliamentarians on matters relating to the health and welfare of companion animals. Sector Councils are important independent sounding boards which can give expert, specialist advice and opinion to help inform Government policy and law.”

Lord Trees said: “I am delighted to see the overwhelming support to reinvigorate this group from across such a diversity of interests which demonstrates the strong desire across all groups to ensure good welfare for animals in the UK.”

Representatives at the meeting unanimously supported the appointment of Mr Michael Stanford as Chair, a well-known figure in the veterinary community, Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and a recent past President of the British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS).

Mike said: “I am honoured to be appointed as Chair of this important group and would encourage all those organisations with an interest in the health and welfare of companion animals to consider how they might contribute to its success.”

Mike will be supported by Dave Perry, Trustee of The Pet Charity and long-time animal keeper, who was appointed as Deputy Chair.

A major stakeholder event will be held later in the year bringing together interested groups to explore areas of common interest and how the group will work in the future.

Pictured are Chris Newman (REPTA), Ruth MacDonald (Tropical Fishkeeping Group), Paul Eversfield (British Herpetological Society), Andy Patel (British Killifish Association) and Dominic Whitmee at the inaugural meeting of CASC.