New Chair for NOAH elected at AGM

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NOAH’s 2021 AGM took place on 16 June, where Caitrina Oakes, Managing Director, Vetoquinol UK and Ireland, was elected as the new Chair of NOAH for 2021/22.

Speaking at the NOAH  Members event that followed, Caitrina outlined some of the areas she would be prioritising over the next 12 months.

One of the most important areas will be the consultation and review of the UK Veterinary Medicines Regulation, due later this year. She said: “We need a regulatory climate to ensure animal medicines availability, as well as to encourage innovation. We are in the final stages of developing detailed proposals that will set out how we believe this might be achieved and look forward to providing any help we can to ensure our new Regulation enables our members, and the benefits their products and innovation brings, to thrive – and continue to protect the health and welfare of our nation’s animals”.

Animal disease knows no borders, and Caitrina explained that NOAH will be even more outward facing, working on a global stage. “Our wider horizons since the UK’s exit from the EU have meant that we have been working in an even closer partnership with the world animal health association HealthforAnimals – which strengthens our influence at a global level. Recently, this has included regular participation, alongside the VMD, in the planning meetings led by the Department of Health and Social Care in preparation for the G7 Health Ministers meetings in advance of last weekend’s G7 Summit in Cornwall. It has been good to see the One Health approach taken in respect of antimicrobial resistance in their Communique, and we look forward to continuing this collaborative approach”.

Caitrina explained that NOAH would also be focussing on sustainability: there is no time to lose in the push for sustainable development. She said: “We know our sector helps make a difference. Improving animal health accelerates the journey towards more sustainable future food systems. Poor health and welfare in animals limit their potential, representing a missed opportunity to produce food as sustainably as possible whilst building a more resilient livelihood for farmers. Healthy animals receiving proper nutrition are better able to digest feed and produce lower levels of emissions, while protecting animals against infection – such as through vaccination – reduces the risk of disease, and the need for antibiotics.

“But like everyone, we can do more. The Board will be taking forward sustainability improvements, including a sustainability policy for our association. We are looking to see how NOAH can help lead us collectively and collaboratively to aim even higher”.

The representation within NOAH is also important, particularly to ensure that the association continues to adapt to serve its growing and more diverse membership as it moves forward from the pandemic.

Caitrina said: “As well as representing around 97% of the animal medicines industry, our current members also already have a diverse product spread, including feed additives and nutraceuticals and an increasing interest in diagnostics and digital technologies. This is something we can celebrate, and work towards an even broader representation”.

She added: “As the future changes fast, catalysed by the pandemic, NOAH will change with the times to serve our modern and changing sector”.

Notes for Editors

  1. For more information please contact Alison Glennon at NOAH on 07510062566 or see www.noah.co.uk

  2. NOAH represents the UK animal health industry. It promotes the benefits of safe, effective, quality products and services for the health and welfare of all animals.

  3. Caitrina Oakes Managing Director Vetoquinol UK and Ireland – Biography

    Caitrina left school at the age of 16 and went straight into the workplace as a trainee veterinary nurse in a mixed practice on the North East coast of Yorkshire. Here she qualified as a Veterinary Nurse, following studies at Rodbaston College of Agriculture in Penkridge.

    During her time in practice she took a keen interest in nursing clinics which led her to her first sales position as a Territory Manager in the North of England for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. She spent over 12 years at Hill’s in various positions including National Sales Manager Vet Channel UK and Ireland, and for a short time was Training and Development Manager for their European business.

    Caitrina then took the position of Sales and Marketing Director at National Veterinary Services before moving to Vetoquinol in 2011 to take the Sales and Marketing Manager Position.

    Caitrina has been in the position of Managing Director since 2013, and now leads an organisation of 76 people across the UK and Ireland. She works very closely the wider European and Global teams, influencing and contributing to the implementation of the company’s strategy and understanding the issues and opportunities facing animal health.

    Caitrina joined the NOAH Board in June 2013. She was elected Vice-Chair in June 2018, becoming Senior Vice-Chair. Caitrina joined NOAH’s Communications Committee in August 2013 and became its Chair in March 2015. She was also a member of the Membership Working Group in 2019 and the Business and Trade Sub-Committee in 2020.

    Caitrina lives in Bedfordshire with her 2 children and their various family pets.

  4. The NOAH officer team elected at the 2021 AGM is:

    • Chair – Caitrina Oakes (Vetoquinol UK and Ireland)
    • Senior Vice-Chair – Jan Moehlenbrock (MSD Animal Health)
    • Vice-Chair – Mark Collinson (Norbrook)
    • Treasurer – Sue Huggett (Beaphar)