It is wonderful at my stage of life to still be doing new things – so here is my first ever blog. To start, let me introduce myself. Born in Yorkshire and brought up in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, I studied Veterinary Science at university. I have spent my career as a veterinary surgeon in practice, in industry, and for the most part over thirty years in teaching and research at the University of Liverpool Veterinary School. My veterinary career has taken me all over the world and in particular I have worked extensively in Africa. My speciality has been the study of parasites and parasitic diseases in both humans as well as animals.
In 2012 I became the second ever veterinary surgeon to enter the House of Lords, having been nominated by the appointments commission, and I sit as a crossbencher. Whilst it is a huge honour and recognition by one’s literal and metaphorical peers to enter the House this isn’t part of the Honours system – this is a working job – and when asked to fill in the occupation field on forms I now put ‘Working Peer’. The House of Lords is an incredibly exciting and impressive place, with some extremely talented people working very hard for the good of us all.
Whilst my particular interests include animal health and welfare, higher education and professional regulation, they also range more widely over science, technology and agriculture. My most significant and challenging contribution to date has been to initiate a debate on humane slaughter and so-called ‘religious slaughter’, which has attracted and stimulated a good deal of media interest. You can find out more about me and my other contributions to date on my UK Parliament page.