Christine Middlemiss is the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer.

She was appointed on 1 March 2018 having been working as the CVO in New South Wales, Australia since July 2016 where she led major improvements to biosecurity across many farming sectors. This work included implementation of new outcome focused, risk based biosecurity legislation; online animal certification processes; improving evidence and risk based disease control approaches.

Prior to moving to Australia, Christine led Defra’s Animal Traceability and Public Health policy team, and also previously surveillance including detection and response to new and emerging diseases such as Schmallenberg and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea. She is an experienced veterinarian.

Before joining the UK government services in 2008, Christine worked in private practice with specific interest in research, meat processing and livestock genetics for a number of years in Scotland and the north of England prior to joining the Animal Health Agency (now part of Animal and Plant Health Agency) as a Divisional Veterinary Manager in Scotland.

She has been appointed as a Visiting Professor of Practice at Harper Adams University.

Christine comes from a farming family in the Borders of Scotland, with a background in beef cattle and sheep.

Director General, Chief Veterinary Officer

The Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) is responsible for:

  • UK/Defra chief spokesperson on animal health and welfare issues
  • shapes animal health and welfare policy across England and throughout Great Britain/UK and influences its delivery
  • leads the Defra/England response to outbreaks of exotic animal diseases
  • advises on the programmes necessary to control, and, where appropriate, eradicate disease
  • represents the UK in the EU and internationally, negotiating on behalf of the UK government
  • Head of Profession for all veterinary surgeons in the government’s employment