Dr Alastair MacMillan BVSc, MSc, PhD, FRCPath, MRCVS

Dr Alastair MacMillan

Formerly Chief Veterinary Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of the RSPCA. 

Alastair is a veterinary surgeon with substantial experience gained in private practice, welfare charities, government, international consultancy and in academia. 

He has particular expertise in dealing with animal welfare issues, public health and zoonotic disease, and the epidemiology and control of exotic and endemic infectious diseases including bovine TB. 

In the RSPCA, Alastair was responsible for:

  • Giving advice on animal health and welfare to, among others, the RSPCA’s Prosecutions Department and Freedom Foods welfare assurance scheme
  • Leadership of the RSPCA Science Group
  • Ensuring that all policies and procedures were firmly evidence-based
  • Developing and monitoring of RSPCA farm animal welfare standards
  • Professional leadership of the veterinary staff employed by the RSPCA and responsibility for all veterinary and clinical matters
  • Responsibility for operational delivery of the RSPCA’s veterinary services to the general public through hospitals and clinics
  • Representing  RSPCA in negotiations with government, local authority, veterinary and other organisations on veterinary and animal health and welfare matters

In Defra,  between 2003 and 2007 Alastair led the team which:

  • Provides the scientific advice on animal health and welfare (and particularly on bovine TB) to policy-makers
  • Commissions research and validates and interprets scientific evidence in support of policy-making
  • Manages the Bovine TB, Animal Welfare and Endemic Diseases Research Programmes

He represented Defra on TB and welfare at Independent Scientific Group (ISG) meetings

In Veterinary Laboratories Agency between 1990 and 2003 Alastair led an international Reference Centre on brucellosis which provided advice on that disease as well as on more general aspects of disease prevention and control to, among others, WHO/FAO / OIE 

Alastair has also

  • Chaired a number or international animal health and welfare groups
  • Published and lectured widely to academic and farming audiences
  • As a consultant, has worked with and advised governments and others across the world. 

He started his veterinary career in mixed practice and, with part-time out of hours work with a local practice for 25 years, has kept his feet on the ground since then.