Michael Gove has been promoted to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Theresa Villiers has been appointed as Defra Secretary in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle.
She said: “I feel honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to take on the role of Secretary of State for Defra.
“The issues this department deals with are incredibly important and I have championed a number of them, including air quality and animal welfare.
“In the coming weeks I look forward to meeting key stakeholders in the food, farming, fishing and environmental sectors.
“By working together we can deliver the Government’s historic commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it and to seize the opportunities offered by Brexit.”
Ms Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, has previously held the role of Northern Ireland Secretary.
During the referendum, Mrs Villiers supported the Brexit campaign and has consistently voted against Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.
Mrs Villiers voting record shows she has generally been supportive of culling badgers to tackle bovine Tb.
She has also generally been against increasing regulation on fracking, although she did vote for greater restrictions in areas such as National Parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and World Heritage sites.
Last year she led a call to end live animal exports, with a petition attracting 1.3 million signatures.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) has continually warned against outlawing the practice, which helps lift prices across the industry and is vital for Irish cross-border trade.
Former Defra Secretary Liz Truss (2014-2016) has been made International Trade Secretary and replaces Liam Fox.
Another Brexiteer, Alister Jack, takes over from David Mundell as the new Scottish Secretary. He was credited with helping persuade Mr Johnson to return the £160million owed to Scottish farmers in convergence payments.
It follows Boris Johnson’s appointment (July 24) as Britain’s new Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson started his premiership with a speech outside Number 10, making a commitment to leave the EU ‘no ifs, no buts’ on October 31 with a new deal or better deal.
But he also spoke about accelerating preparation if the UK was ‘forced’ to leave with no deal, including making sure the ‘amazing food and farming sector’ was ready and waiting to continue selling ever more food in the UK and across the world.
He also said he wanted to help the bioscience industry develop blight resistant crops to feed the world and highlighted the importance of the welfare of animals which has ‘always been so close to the hearts of the British people’.
Mr Gove attended the Royal Welsh Show at Builth Wells on Monday, telling farmers and journalists that he was confident the UK would exit the EU with a deal in place.
Asked about support funding post 2022, which is a concern for Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths, he said: "It is inconceivable that the devolved nations would receive less money for farming from the UK Government post Brexit."
Asked about the ’catastrophic’ farming union fears being bandied around over a no-deal Brexit he said: "Do UK farmers worry that the UK Government does not understand the consequences of a no deal or hard Brexit?"
Mr Gove was appointed to Defra in June 2017 and was seen as a big hitter governing the food, farming and environment brief.
He ran against Mr Johnson in the recent race for Number 10, but crashed out in the fifth round.