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Prof Sandy Trees ennobled
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Distinguished vet appointed to House of Lords would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Professor Alexander (Sandy) Trees, formerly Dean of the Liverpool University Veterinary School and President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, upon the announcement of his being raised to the House of Lords as a Crossbench Peer. Professor Trees' future title will be announced at a later date, and he will become the second veterinary surgeon ever to enter the Lords after the ennoblement of Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior in 1990.

Commenting, Professor Trees said “I am delighted and humbled to be appointed as a member of the House of Lords, not least as I will become only the second veterinary surgeon to be ennobled. The understanding of science in public policy has never been more important and I look forward to bringing my experience and knowledge to the House.”

“I shall endeavour to be an advocate for science-based policy making and also for the veterinary profession. I believe that veterinary surgeons both in practice and academia could, and should, play a more prominent role in advising Parliament not only on animal health and welfare matters, but also on human healthcare.”

Also commenting, BVA President Carl Padgett said “The British Veterinary Association is absolutely delighted at Professor Trees' appointment to the House of Lords. He will bring a wealth of experience and scientific expertise into the political arena, not only in the fields of animal health and welfare but also public health, where he has particular knowledge and experience.”

"We are also proud that Professor Trees will be formally opening this September's BVA Congress in Liverpool where he inspired two generations of vets through his teaching and research, and we look forward to working with him to deliver a healthy future for animals, vets and the country."

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Natural England authorises second year of badger culls

Badger culling in west Somerset and Gloucestershire can continue this year after being officially authorised by Natural England, it was confirmed yesterday.

Start dates for the six-week culls have not yet been announced and will be decided by the companies licensed to conduct the culls.

Licensees have been given a target to remove a minimum of 615 badgers from the population in Gloucestershire and 316 in Somerset. The maximum number of badgers allowed to be culled has been set at 1,091 in Gloucestershire and 785 in Somerset.

Natural England says the minimum number remains under review as the Independent Expert Panel (IEP) that monitored last year's culls advised there were significant difficulties in gaining an accurate estimate of badger populations.

The IEP report on last year's culls found they failed on effectiveness and humaneness.

This year, Natural England says it will carry out field observations to monitor the accuracy of controlled shooting. AHVLA vets will conduct post-mortem examinations on a minimum of 60 badgers randomly selected from each cull area.