News story

New chair of the Animals in Science Committee appointed

Professor David Main has been appointed as chair of the Animals in Science Committee (ASC).

Professor David Main leaning on the fence of a sheep pen.

Baroness Williams, Minister of State for Countering Extremism and Minister for Equalities, today announced that Professor David Main has been appointed as chair of the Animals in Science Committee (ASC).

Professor Main will take up the appointment with the ASC on 1 March 2019, succeeding Dr John Landers who has served as ASC Chair for five years.

Baroness Williams said:

I am delighted to welcome Professor Main as the next chair of the ASC and I am confident that the knowledge and experience he will bring to the role will greatly benefit the Animals in Science Committee. I would also like to thank Dr Landers for his expertise and commitment during his time leading the committee.

The UK has one of the most comprehensive animal welfare systems in the world to ensure animal testing is carried out humanely and only when necessary. Under Professor Main’s leadership the ASC will continue to play a vital role in ensuring the government receives transparent, independent advice on the use of animals in science.

Professor David Main is Professor of Production Animal Health and Welfare at the Royal Agricultural University and formerly Professor of Animal Welfare, University of Bristol.

A veterinary surgeon, Professor Main has research interests in welfare assessment, intervention strategies to improve welfare, and animal welfare education. He has been involved in several large collaborative projects including AssureWel that introduced welfare outcome assessment into UK certification schemes and EU WelNet, a network of welfare scientists that provided welfare advice to the European Commission.

Professor Main said:

I look forward to taking up the role of Chair to the Animals in Science Committee and to working with committee members to continue this important work.

I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor Dr Landers who has led the committee since its inception in 2013. We hope to build on its already excellent achievements in this field.

The ASC is an independent public body sponsored by the Home Office. It provides independent advice about issues relating to the use of animals in scientific procedures within the context of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Published 18 December 2018