Somerset vet named new chair of Animal Welfare Foundation

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Somerset vet Julian Kupfer has been named the new chairman of the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) board.

The AWF British Veterinary Association charity is run by veterinarians and animal welfare professionals.

Kupfer has been involved with the charity for many years: he first joined the association as a director in 2016 and has been its vice-president since 2019.

“I am both intimidated and thrilled to become president of AWF; it is a most important cause for me and it is truly a privilege to have been nominated,” said Kupfer

It’s no surprise that this is a difficult time for the charitable sector and the veterinary profession, but I hope to build on all of the outstanding work of the AWF team and Board of Directors and feel prepared. for the tasks ahead of us.

Kupfer graduated from the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science in 1980 and worked as a partner in a major veterinary hospital in the South West for ten years.

After leaving practice, he worked in senior management in the service industry, earned a master’s degree in medical law, and spent many years in the pharmaceutical industry. He is now an independent consultant providing veterinary, technical and marketing advice to pharmaceutical companies in the companion animal and livestock sectors.

“I don’t think any of us can go through veterinary practice without sometimes giving serious thought to the welfare issues we’ve encountered or perhaps realizing that we haven’t given enough thought to certain aspects of wellness or made mistakes – I throw my hands up here and a few memories still haunt me,” Kupfer continued.

“An understanding of wellness is not something that can be acquired from a book or a seminar, but comes from continuous learning and commitment.

That’s why I’m fortunate to be part of AWF as we will air and debate sometimes uncomfortable issues and commission relevant, high-quality, evidence-based research with an egalitarian approach. Our activity with students is an area I particularly enjoy and believe it helps to encourage their thinking about welfare for the betterment of our profession and the animals in our care.”

“Of course it comes at a cost: AWF has funded nearly £2m of research and we need to raise more funds to be able to continue and increase the amount of research we commission. Our work is funded entirely by donations, bequests and corporate sponsors, so we depend on the generosity of our supporters.”

Outgoing President Chris Laurence said he had “every trustto Kupfer to fill his shoes.

“Being president of AWF has been a highlight of my career and I’ve been proud to be a part of the charity. I am sad to step down, but I am confident that Julian will continue to steer the charity in the right direction and I wish him all the best for his time in this role,” he said.

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