Press release

Re-appointments to the Veterinary Residues Committee

Seven members re-appointed to serve on the Veterinary Residues Committee for a further four years from January 2013. 

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Mr Jon Averns, Mr Tim Brigstocke, Dr Gill Clare, Mr Declan O’Rourke, Mr David Ralph, Mr Mark Ranson and Professor Michael Roberts have been re-appointed to serve on the Veterinary Residues Committee for a further four years from January 2013. 


Jon Averns (Local authority) is employed as Port Health and Public Protection Director by the City of London Corporation, which is also the London Port Health Authority and undertakes Animal Health enforcement across London.  He qualified as an Environmental Health Officer in 1980, specialising in food control in 1982, and joining the London Port Health Authority in 1989.  In 1997 he was awarded a MSc in Food Safety and Food Control. 

Tim Brigstocke (Agriculture industry) runs a livestock consultancy business.  He is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF), and remains Policy Director to the Association.  He is Executive Director, Cattle Health Certification Standards UK Limited (CHeCS), the accreditation body for the various cattle health schemes operating in the British Isles, and Chairman of the industry-wide cattle Health and Welfare Group. 

Gill Clare (Food Chemical Safety/Risk Assessment) is a genetic toxicologist, specialising in cytogenetics, with a PhD gained in a hospital radiotherapy department.  Her experience is in science in university, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and contract research organisations. 

Declan O’Rourke (Pharmaceutical industry), is a veterinary surgeon and works as an independent consultant in pharmacovigilance and livestock medicine.  He has worked in practice in England and Canada, been on the Milk Marketing Board, and worked in the animal industry where he held technical, marketing, product development, clinical development, production and pharmacovigilance roles. 

David Ralph (Feed industry) comes from an agricultural background and has experience of a range of livestock production systems.  He graduated from Newcastle University with an Honours Degree in Agricultural Science and joined RHM Agriculture in 1967.  While at RHM he was the operations manager at a number of the Company’s feed mills.

Mark Ranson (Food retail sector) is a Senior Food Technologist and Agriculture Manager at Marks & Spencer with particular responsibility for poultry and pigs and also takes lead responsibility for animal welfare across M&S foods and works closely with the non-foods areas of the business.  He has a Master’s degree in Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare, from the University of Edinburgh.

Michael Roberts (Food industry) has extensive experience in senior science management in the Research Councils and Defra dealing with a range of issues relating to the food chain and environmental objectives.  In his most recent position as the Chief Executive of Defra’s Central Science Laboratory, he coordinated food surveillance programmes and related research in support of VMD and the Food Standards Agency. 

The re-appointments adhere to the Defra Public Appointments Guidance for non-OCPA Regulated Appointments Including Expert Committees.  None of the re-appointed members has declared any political activity during the past five years.


The VRC is an expert committee which provides advice to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and Food Standards Agency on veterinary medicine residues’ surveillance.

Members receive £148 for each meeting attended with an additional £38 for preparation.

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Published 15 June 2012