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Dr Jane Downes MRCVS


Dr Jane Morag Downes MRCVS

Jane qualified from Bristol University school of veterinary science in 1978. After working for ‘James Herriot’ in general practice in North Yorkshire she specialised in veterinary public health taking the role of Veterinary Director at the Meat Hygiene Service, Food standards Agency, with responsibility for ensuring Great Britain was meeting all its regulatory responsibilities in abattoirs and meat premises. In this period there were significant challenges in agriculture including the BSE, the E. Coli and the food and mouth outbreaks. On leaving the Civil Service in 2010 Jane has built up a portfolio of work all linked to improving animal welfare and food safety. Jane served on the RCVS Disciplinary Committee for 8 years and was the Vice Chair to the Governing Board of Askham Bryan Agricultural College. Current roles include veterinary advisor to a leading veterinary organisation, a member of Defra’s Animal Welfare Committee which provides opinions to Ministers on legislative changes to improve animal welfare and is a trustee of the University Federation for Animal Welfare. As Chair to the Pig health and Welfare Council Jane has been influential in the development of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, a government funded scheme to reduce the impact of endemic diseases and she works with major meat producers to reduce the risks from animal disease and improve animal welfare. Jane chairs FDQ Lt. an Awarding Organisation which provides qualifications and apprenticeship examinations for those working in food and drink businesses. 

Committee membership

  • Veterinary Nurse Preliminary Investigation Committee - Appointed July 2023
  • Accreditation Panel Member - Appointed April 2023

Declaration of Interests


  • FDQ Ltd - Chair




  • Eville and Jones Ltd - Veterinary Advisor to the Board

Appointments to other bodies

  • Pig Health and Welfare Council - Chair
  • Animal Welfare Committee, DEFRA - Member
  • Welfare at Killing Committee, DEFRA - Chair

Membership of other veterinary or allied organisations

  • British Veterinary Association - Member
  • Veterinary Public Health Association - Member
  • Pig Veterinary Association - Member



Qualifications (other than veterinary qualifications listed in the Register)


Interests relating to immediate family or close friends


Other relevant information