Scotland's former head of rural communities appointed as new BSAS chief

The Scottish Government’s former head of Rural Communities has been appointed as the new chief executive of the British Society of Animal Science.

Bruce Beveridge will take over from current chief executive Mike Steele, who is retiring in April after 13 years in the post. Bruce Beveridge

Mr Beveridge, who is currently director of his own legal, business and policy consultancy, was previously responsible for managing Scotland’s £95m rural communities budget, overseeing all areas of rural policy and regulation as well as EU funded programmes.

A trained solicitor, his other roles have focused on the legal profession, including working as the deputy chief executive of the Registers of Scotland, and as the legal secretary to the Lord President of the Court of Session.

He was also president and chairman of the Law Society of Scotland, where he helped improve the society’s operations and performance, and helped strengthen relationships between the society and Government.

Outside of his professional work, Mr Beveridge enjoys rugby, golf, motorsports and music.

Mr Beveridge said he was excited by the opportunity to work with BSAS, and had already identified areas where he believed he could help the society evolve.

“There are three main areas I would like to target, including supporting and growing the membership, and leveraging more impact and influence from the society’s significant expertise,” he said.

“I also want to focus efforts on developing its operating model to provide the resources necessary to underpin greater effectiveness in the longer term.”

The challenges facing the animal science sector - particularly around funding, relevance, and commercial applications of science - meant it was vital that the society was in a strong position to help drive the sector forward, Mr Beveridge added.

“The economics and structure of agriculture bring particular challenges for the animal science sector.  

“Brexit is a significant issue but also brings unique opportunity. The platform on which the sector can be influential, evidenced and - critically - independent in advancing relevant parts of the debate.”