Farm Animal Welfare Council


Current Activities

It is not possible for the whole Council to undertake detailed studies of the issues being investigated. Most of the Council’s work is delegated to three Standing Committees and a number of Working Groups, comprising a cross-section of members. There is a heavy responsibility on these members to provide thoroughly researched and carefully considered advice for discussion and endorsement at Council. Discussions within the Working Groups generally remain confidential until proposals have been considered and endorsed by the full Council.

Standing Committees

Working Groups

Standing Committees

FAWC has established these Committees, which will keep a watching brief on welfare issues within these broad subjects bands:

  • Ethics, Economics, Education and Regulation Standing Committee;
  • Pigs, Poultry and Fish; and
  • Ruminants.

These Committees will horizon scan for new welfare issues, keep under review and press for action on existing welfare issues and may carry out small scale studies leading to short reports. Membership of these Committees is aimed at making the best use of FAWC members’ specialist knowledge and experience.

Working Groups will continue to take on major studies into specific welfare issues or target species and produce reports for Council to endorse and publish.

Working Groups

Farm Animal Welfare Strategy

This Group is taking a wide ranging and far sighted view of farm animal welfare in the UK and beyond; where standards are now and where they might me in the future.

Disease and Farm Animal Welfare

All animals are susceptible to disease, both infectious and non-infectious.  Diseases vary in their welfare impact on the animal from mild irritation to a potentially fatal prolonged and debilitating disease such as pneumonia.  Some diseases cause pain (e.g. mastitis, lameness), others may cause malaise (e.g. any febrile condition) or mental distress (e.g. BSE), and yet others may render an animal unable to function within the group or cause fear and anxiety as a result of not being able to escape or maintain flight distance. 

In summary, most diseases will have an adverse welfare impact on animals and the reduction or freedom from disease is both a welfare benefit to the animal, an economic benefit to the farmer and in many different ways a public good.  The aim of this study is to examine the past, present and emerging disease trends by species, including both physical and mental health and their relationship to welfare.

Welfare Economics

The aim of the Group is to analyse the interactions between the economics of livestock production and animal welfare in the UK. The Group will be undertaking a public consultation in September 2007. A report is expected in 2010.

Education, Communication and Knowledge Application

FAWC believes that everyone in society has responsibilities towards animals. This responsibility depends upon citizens having sufficient knowledge and understanding of the impact of their actions on animal welfare. The study will aim to assess current knowledge about animal welfare, explore opportunities within the education systems, assess the effectiveness of communication about animal welfare to society in general and how new knowledge and technology can best be communicated.

Contact address

If you want more details, including copies of reports, then please contact us at the following address:

FAWC Secretariat
Area 8B, 9 Millbank
c/o 17 Smith Square

Tel: 020 7238 5124 / 6340 / 5016

Last modified 8 July, 2010
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