Theresa Villiers appointed as environment secretary
Prime minister Boris Johnson has appointed the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers as secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Ms Villiers, who previously served as Minister of State for Transport, was elected the Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet in 2005. She will replace Michael Gove who has been appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
As environment secretary, Ms Villiers will be responsible for:
• departmental administration
• international relations
• oversight of Brexit work and post-EU policy programme.
“I feel honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to take on the role of Secretary of State for Defra,” Ms Villiers said in a statement. “The issues this department deals with are incredibly important and I have championed a number of them, including air quality and animal welfare.
“In the coming weeks, I look forward to meeting key stakeholders in the food, farming, fishing and environmental sectors. By working together we can deliver the Government’s historic commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it and to seize the opportunities offered by Brexit.”
Welcoming the appointment, BVA president Simon Doherty said he is seeking an early meeting with Ms Villiers to brief her on some of the most pressing animal health and welfare issues, including animal sentience and the veterinary workforce.
BVA will also seek government action to improve welfare at slaughter, to secure tighter controls on the movement of pets and to continue efforts to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
“We welcome the appointment of Theresa Villiers and look forward to an early meeting to discuss the urgent issues of animal sentience, veterinary workforce, and the impact of no-deal on the animal health and welfare sector,” said BVA president Simon Doherty.
“The new Prime Minister’s well-publicised deal or no-deal strategy means that we need a strong and well-informed voice in Cabinet championing animal health and welfare and understanding the veterinary role in public health and international trade.
“The next few months will be critical for our profession and we will continue to represent vets at the highest level.”