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SPANA appoints interim chair of trustees
Marianne Davies first joined the Board of Trustees in September 2021.
Marianne Davies was formally voted into the role in March.

The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA) has announced the appointment of Marianne Davies as its interim chair of trustees.

Ms Davies, a senior human resources (HR) and change professional, was formally voted in to the the role by the SPANA Board of Trustees in March 2024.

She is currently global head of people services at pharmaceutical company GSK, where she has worked for much of her executive career. Her work with GSK brings extensive experience in HR and change, which will benefit the development of SPANA.

However she also holds an interest in animal welfare. Ms Davies has visited several of the countries where SPANA works, which has inspired her to support the welfare of working animals and their communities.

She first joined SPANA’s Board of Trustees in September 2021, and also works with SPANA’s People and Safeguarding Committee and its Centenary Committee.

In 2023, Ms Davies also fundraised for SPANA at the London Marathon.

She succeeds former chair of trustees Dr Mary-Lorraine Hughes, who recently resigned from the role. Dr Hughes had sat as chair of trustees since 2021.

Marianne Davies said: “During my three years as a trustee of SPANA, I have been inspired by the charity’s extraordinary support for working animals.

“I am excited and honoured to now be appointed chair of trustees at SPANA, during a time when the charity is significantly developing its work to meet the growing challenges it faces from issues such as rising global poverty, political instability, and climate change. 

“SPANA’s strategy for 2023-27 outlines an ambitious vision for the future of the charity and how we will radically extend our reach and impact during these turbulent times. A number of exciting new initiatives are currently in development at SPANA, which will be truly transformative for working animals and the communities they so loyally support.”   

SPANA’s Chief Executive, Linda Edwards, said: “We are delighted that Marianne Davies has been appointed as our chair of trustees at SPANA.

“Marianne’s commitment to working animal welfare and our plans for SPANA will help ensure the charity can transform the lives of working animals.” 

Image © SPANA

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Reporting service for dead wild birds updated

News Story 1
 The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has updated its online reporting service for dead wild birds.

The new version allows those reporting a dead bird to drop a pin on a map when reporting the location. It also includes a wider range of wild bird species groups to select from when describing the bird.

The online service, which helps APHA to monitor the spread of diseases such as avian influenza, can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
NI chief vet urges bluetongue vigilance

Northern Ireland's chief veterinary officer (CVO) has urged farmers to be vigilant for signs of bluetongue, after the Animal and Plant Health Agency warned there was a very high probability of further cases in Great Britain.

There have been 126 confirmed cases of bluetongue virus serotype 3 in England since November 2023, with no cases reported in Northern Ireland. The movement of live ruminants from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is currently suspended.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the virus is most likely to enter Northern Ireland through infected animals or germplasm (semen or ova) being imported.

Brian Dooher, Northern Ireland's CVO, said: "Surveillance for this disease within Northern Ireland has been increased to assist with detection at the earliest opportunity which will facilitate more effective control measures."

Farmers should report any suspicions of the disease to their private veterinary practitioner, the DAERA Helpline on 0300 200 7840 or their local DAERA Direct Veterinary Office.