National Farmed Animal Health & Welfare Council Board Members
NFAHW Council Co-Chair
René Roy has a PhD in agricultural economics from McGill University. René is a pork producer from farrow to finish, a dairy farmer and a maple syrup producer. René took over the family business with his brother Mario and runs it with members of his family.
René contributes with his experience on several working groups of the Council, in particular the One welfare working group. As an agricultural producer, he knows how the health and welfare of animals is intimately linked to the psychological health of producers.
René is second vice chair of the Canadian Pork Council, where he is active in the field of animal health and welfare. He has been particularly involved in the development of the new pork certification program, Canadian Pork Excellence. René contributes to the dialogue on hog health and welfare from a producer's perspective. He is also vice-chair of Swine Innovation Porc which is managing the research cluster of the Canadian pork industry. Rene represents the Canadian Pork Council on the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council.
NFAHW Council Co-Chair
Dr. Hélène Trépanier has been Quebec’s Chief Veterinary Officer since September 2016. She is one of three representatives for Canada’s Council of Chief Veterinary Officers on the Council. Having worked for Quebec’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for over 25 years, Dr. Trépanier has been actively involved in the development and implementation of Quebec’s animal health and welfare strategy. She is also an expert in the appropriate treatment of animals.
Dr. Trépanier holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (1984) and a Master’s Degree in Veterinary Clinical Sciences from the same university (1987). She also has a Master’s Degree in Rural Economy from Laval University in Quebec City (1995). She is currently a member of the Animal Welfare Committee of the Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec. She joined the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council as a representative of the Council of Chief Veterinary Officers in March 2016.
Dr. Debbie Barr is the Director, Animal Health, Welfare and Biosecurity for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and is involved in the development and implementation of federal policies and programs aimed at managing domestic, foreign and emerging animal disease and zoonotic risks to terrestrial and aquatic animals and their products in Canada. This position engages with a broad range of national and international partners and stakeholders in representing the position of the Agency and Canada. From November 2018 to May 2019, she managed the African Swine Fever (ASF) preparedness file for the Agency.
Prior to joining the federal government, Debbie worked for three years in private practice. Her government career began with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Food Production and Inspection Branch over 32 years ago in Ontario in field operations and continued in Ottawa in almost all aspects of animal importation and exportation until 2013.
Debbie has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Hons) degree from the University of Guelph. She represents the CFIA on the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council.
Dr. Jim Fairles is a veterinarian with 23 years of experience in private mixed practice in Mount Forest, Ontario and two years of international experience in China. Since 2004, Dr. Fairles has been employed as the Client Services Veterinarian at the Animal Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph. He has a DVM (1980) and MBA (1999) degrees from Guelph.
Dr. Fairles has been involved with various veterinary associations on local, provincial and national levels. He is a past president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and a past chair of the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC). He is immediate past president of the Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians (CASV) and an industry representative (CVMA) on the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council.
Dr. Fairles was elected to the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council in December 2013 and was re-elected in 2016.
David Fraser, C.M., Ph.D., who has been a member of the Council since its inception, is Professor in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His 48-year research career has focused on the welfare and behaviour of farm, companion and wild animals.
He has served as a scientific advisor on animal welfare science and policy to many organizations including the World Organisation for Animal Health (Paris), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rome), and the Food Marketing Institute (Washington). He has convened and chaired numerous national and international committees on animal welfare issues. He is in high demand as a lecturer and is the author of many publications including the textbook, Understanding Animal Welfare: The Science in its Cultural Context.
He was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2005 for his work as "a pioneer in the field of animal welfare science". Dr. Fraser was elected to the NFAHW Council in 2010, and re-elected in 2013, 2015 and again in 2018.
Dr. Komal is the Vice President (VP) of the CFIA’s Science Branch, as well as, the Delegate to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) for Canada. Dr. Komal serves as an ex-officio member on the Council in his capacity as Canada’s CVO and OIE Delegate.
As CVO, he regularly provides strategic and scientific advice to the federal Minister of Agriculture, the CFIA President and the Agency’s senior management. Dr. Komal’s active engagement on the international stage brings insights into the strategic directions and initiatives led by international organizations and key trading partners which helps to keep Canada ahead of the curve as a global leader. He brings to the table domestic and international context for the development of animal health and welfare related policies and initiatives of importance for Canada.
Dr. Komal graduated from the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire at the Université de Montréal in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, with a degree in Veterinary Medicine and a post-graduate degree in Veterinary Microbiology. Through his career, Dr. Komal has led several key areas of the CFIA and AAFC. In his VP position, Dr. Komal manages the branch that provides laboratory services and scientific advice in support of development and delivery of the CFIA’s programs, as well as surveillance and regulatory research to identify and address emerging threats to the food system and to animal and plant health.
Dr. Lehman graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 1999 and also holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Alberta.
After working in private mixed animal practice in Barrhead, Alberta, Keith joined the Canadian Food Inspection Agency where he worked in various position prior to joining Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in June 2014. After two years with the Animal Health Section, he was appointed as Alberta’s Chief Provincial Veterinarian in June 2016.
Dr. Lehman completed a two-year term as chair of the Council of Chief Veterinary Officers in December 2018. He has also been involved with early development of the Plant and Animal Health Strategy, CanSURV BSE, the national Antimicrobial Resistance Steering Committee, and serves as an ex-officio member on the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association Council. Dr. Lehman represents the Council of Chief Veterinary Officers on the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council.
Luc holds a Master degree in Social Science from Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. He joined the Federal Government in 2000 and worked in several departments such as Industry Canada, Canadian Heritage and joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2005 and has since worked on a variety of files such as rural development, BSE and Growing Forward programs design and delivery.
Luc became the Director of the Animal Industry Division in April 2019 and is involved in initiatives aimed at improving the competitiveness of the livestock sector. Luc took over from Donald Boucher as the AAFC representative on the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council in March 2019.
Rob McNabb graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree and a Master of Science degree from the University of Manitoba.
Mr. McNabb recently retired after 20 years as General Manager of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association following a 20-year career in extension and regulatory administration with Manitoba Agriculture. Mr. McNabb has been a member on numerous national multi-stakeholder advisory groups for programs, policy, and research. He is a member and Past President of the Alberta Institute of Agrologists and was the co-Chair of the National Farm Animal Health and Welfare Council this past year.
Colleen McElwain is the Programs Director at the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI) and leads communications, environmental stewardship programming and member services. Prior to working at the CAHI, she worked at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in the area of livestock traceability policy and stakeholder relations. For several years Colleen worked at the Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) where she was the lead for animal health and welfare, disease surveillance, traceability, antimicrobial resistance, and applied research. She has participated on numerous national industry and government committees and is a proven relationship builder.
Colleen holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour and Welfare and a Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology, both from the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College. Colleen was elected to the Council in December 2018.
Jane Pritchard is the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) for the province of BC and one of 3 CVO’s bringing provincial representation to the Council from the Canadian Council of Chief Veterianary Officers.
Jane holds a DVM and Masters of Veterinary Science in Anatomic Pathology. She is the current Director of the BC provincial veterinary diagnostic lab and Executive Director of the Plant and Animal Health Branch in the BC Ministry of Agriculture. She has a background that includes work in Public Health and sits on many FPT committees.
Jane has supported the council on working groups in AMU and AMR, Animal Welfare and Emerging Issues as well as Finance and Governance. This year she is also contributing to the organization of the Forum. Jane recently led the development of Standards for Humane Slaughter within Slaughter without Stunning.
Dr. Pritchard represents the Council of Chief Veterinary Officers on the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council.
Steven Sternthal is the Director General for the Centre for Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases with the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Branch. In this role, Steven is responsible for leading One Health policy, science, and program initiatives to address food-borne and zoonotic infectious diseases. Steven has over 20 years experience in managing public health issues, many of which are relevant to the work of the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council (e.g. food safety, antimicrobial resistance, emerging zoonotic infectious diseases). Steven holds a Master in Health Administration from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Science from McGill University in Montreal. Steven represents the Public Health Agency of Canada on the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council.
Dave Taylor is the past Chair of the BC Dairy Association and a Director with Dairy Farmers of Canada. He is a passionate advocate for the BC and national dairy industry.
He and his brother operate Viewfield Farms in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, although the success of their farm lies with all who are a part of the Viewfield team which involves 3 generations.
The Taylors have been the recipients of the Top Quality Milk award for Vancouver Island for 8 of the last 10 years and have been in the top 5 herds for milk quality in the province each of the past 5 years. They are strong advocates of DFC’s quality assurance program proAction.
In 2008, Dave and his wife Lisa represented their farm in competition in BC, and then nationally in Calgary, where they were awarded the Canadian Outstanding Young Farmers Award.
The Taylors have been dairy farming since Dave’s grandfather bought his first farm in 1946 in Saanichton, just outside of Victoria, BC. They milk 130 registered holsteins.
Marco Volpé holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science from Laval University (2003) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Moncton University (2014). In 2003, he started working in the poultry sector managing health, animal care and environment. In 2006 he joined the Groupe Westco team and expanded its works in a well-diversified company. He’s now Senior Manager and he’s involved in the many projects the company has to offer. He has also been a member of the Ordre des Agronomes du Québec since 2004 and of the Nouveau-Brunswick Institute of Agrologists since 2005.
Marco is a director at Chicken Farmers of New Brunswick since 2016 and has been New Brunswick’s Alternate Director at Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) since 2017. Marco is also a member of CFC’s Production Committee and is a strong supporter of CFC’s Animal Care Program and On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program. Marco joined the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council in 2017 as the CFC representative.
National Farmed Animal Health & Welfare Council Members
Board Member - Dairy Farmers of Canada
Dr. David Fraser
University of British Columbia - Animal Welfare Program
Canadian Animal Health Institute
Rob McNabb - Past Chair
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
Dr. René Roy - Co-Chair
Canadian Pork Council
Board Member - Chicken Farmers of Canada
Dr. Jim Fairles
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Director General - Centre for Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Branch Public, Health Agency of Canada
Dr. Debbie Barr
Director – Animal Health, Welfare & Biosecurity Division
Dr. Jane Pritchard
Director - Plant and Animal Branch - BC Agriculture
Dr. Hélène Trépanier - Co-Chair
Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation,
Dr. Nicole Wanamaker
Chief Veterinary Officer for New Brunswick, New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries
Dr. Jaspinder Komal
Acting Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada, CFIA