Christopher Gaskell to chair Welsh TB panel
THE scientist who is to chair the Welsh Government-ordered review of scientific evidence for the eradication of bovine TB in Wales is to be Professor Christopher Gaskell.
He is the principal of Cirencester’s Royal Agricultural College, a position he took up in August 2007, and was previously a Pro-vice-Chancellor at the University of Liverpool.
The long awaited announcement came this morning (Tuesday, July 19) from the Wales Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor John Harries.
He said Professor Gaskell “has a wealth of experience in the field. He is a vet and is a scientist of the highest integrity and distinction.
“I know he will lead a proper, thorough and objective review of the scientific evidence that exists on this complex and potentially devastating disease.
“He is a member of the Science Advisory Council for Wales, which offers advice and challenge to me as Chief Scientific Adviser, across all science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.”
The appointment follows last month’s decision by Wales Environment Minister, John Griffiths, to commissioned a review of the scientific evidence base relating to bTB eradication by an independent chairperson, and panel of experts in order to take the work forward.
Professor Harries also said he will name the make up of the full panel as soon as possible, following discussions with Professor Gaskell and other advisers.
It is hoped that the review report will be delivered in the autumn.
The announcement also stressed that the review does not call into question the decisions of the Welsh Ministers to pursue the eradication of bovine TB.
It reflected a Government commitment to take a science-led approach to evaluate and review the best way of tackling the disease.
The panel will take evidence as appropriate, including that from the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Professor Christianne Glossop, who has played a key role in formulating the Wales TB eradication strategy.
Also stressed is that the review is limited to the consideration of the scientific issues.